MENSWEAR TREND: The Twilight Zone


MENSWEAR TREND: The Twilight Zone
Alexander McQueen is introducing a made-to-order line with Huntsman of London’s Savile Row. And that news, along with the upscale clothes displayed in the brand’s Milan showroom, confirm that the tilt in men’s wear is toward the formal and the evening.

 


Gucci


That was proven when Gucci entered the “Twilight” zone — not the world of vampires but one where elegance and even poetry is shifting to the male wardrobe for after dark. “Bohemian grunge,” said the Gucci designer Frida Giannini backstage, referring to the lush cinematic beauty of Visconti and to the decadent beauty of Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du Mal.”
That meant the new generation of Gucci man bags were tapestries of flowers and blooms sprouted as jacquard weaves on jackets. The result was a rich collection, although it started in a more workman-like way with leather and cloth before flowering into baroque velvet evening jackets. To ask who dresses up for evening is like enquiring who would tote a flowered bag or leather jacket rich in colors. These clothes are for the super wealthy. And in spite of her “grunge” description, Ms. Giannini was touching a new trend: The idea that the forgotten “gentleman” could take over as a defining look. The rest of the Gucci show was uneventful. (Read: beautifully made and desirable — but dull.) Yet with the outfits of the Golden Globe Awards on everybody’s lips — and with Gucci’s ultimate boss, François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of PPR, in Hollywood rather than front row — Ms. Giannini hit a men’s wear sweet spot for after dark.

 


Huntsman

 

Sarah Burton is the most self-effacing of designers. Yet since she took over the Alexander McQueen brand after her mentor left this world, she has followed his path while injecting much of her own vision. Maybe it is her unexpected connection with royalty, after designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, that has encouraged her to push forward not only tail coats but that ultimate symbol of upper crust dressing: made-to-order tailoring. It was a smart idea to team with Huntsman. With this collaboration, the brand will join other luxury players in pushing to the highest level their men’s wear offering. For the main collection, Ms. Burton remained faithful to Mr. McQueen’s fascination with Victoriana, although not his raven dark side. So there were tailored jackets with breeches as pants, cut away frock coats, formal Prince of Wales check fabrics and bolder mixes of polka-dot jackets with checked pants. Yet the soul of the line was in the couture finishes, like the silken embroidery on lapels, roses decorating knit sleeves and a general sense that the McQueen label is aiming high and mighty.



Alexander McQueen

 



Alexander McQueen

 


Alexander McQueen

 


Etro

 



Etro

 

When the Etro show started with tail coats, it summed up the mood of the fashion moment. As the designer Kean Etro put it: “The classical takes flight.” The rigor of the formal dress also helped Mr. Etro to steer clear of flights of fancy — literally in this show, where a giant Icarus was on the backdrop. Feathers decorated everything from the back of a coat, where buttons might usually be, to the front of shoes. A feather print was inevitably in the melee. Mr Etro’s loopy imagination has a certain charm. But the best was first in the show, a symbol for the power this season of fashion in the twilight zone.



Prada

 


Prada

 


From The New York Times

Saturday, January 21, 2012 · Categories: Trend Analysis, Fashion, Runway, Menswear
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