Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Men are Back in Town

Note the absence of "boys." Looks like little guys are out of luck this season - it's all about real man muscle for Fall 2010.

I just started checking out the Milan menswear shows on, and wow - what a departure from the tiny, mod boy of the past few seasons. (By the way, what the heck happened to the collection reviews????? They seemed to be replaced by a pretty lame summary of the company's history called "The Brief." What happened to Tim Blanks?!?! He's the only critic I've read who had anything resembling an intelligent perspective on Thom Browne. But I digress....)

I have to say I welcome this swing of the pendulum. I am all about a strong, more substantial male silhouette; I don't know a single woman who wants her arm candy to look slimmer than her.
First off - Dolce and Gabbana. Now, they have always been big proponents of an unabashedly masculine aesthetic, but their style as shown the Fall 2010 collection couldn't have been more well timed. Their typically large shoulder look surprisingly fresh. I'm also glad to see the longer suit jacket - It is still slimming, but better proportioned and I imagine that it would be more forgiving on different body shapes.

It's the same silhouette they do season after season, but some how for Fall 2010 this looks especially fresh - how do they do it?!

The length is right, the shoulder is well fit, the armhole is not too tight, so the sleeve is a bit fuller at the upper arm. I could do without the spagetti thin lapels, but I'll guess that what ends up on the rack will be less extreme. I also love the way this fabric is hanging - it looks as if it could be a hard finish felted cloth (especially the first one), or something very tightly woven. Softer folds, no wrinkles. The way a jacket cut from neoprene might look.....which is a great idea! Maybe I'll try that myself.

I'm not often a big fan of the double pleat, but in this fabric it's quite chic - I wish I had a pair. Wearing this really means making a sartorial choice, a deliberate style statement. Almost as chic as the single inverted pleat trousers Josh is fond of. :)

Even Jil Sander is embracing this fuller shoulder silhouette:

Yeah, it's a puffer jacket, but the sloping shoulder says it all. Notice the fuller upper sleeve on the suit jacket - this is not at all what we've been seeing the past few seasons!

And you know it's a big deal if Burberry Prorsum - flag bearers of the mod slim suited movement - embraces the fuller silhouette trend as well.

Full shoulder, nipped waist, longer hem. Even the boots are more rounded, less shaped. Everything has gotten softer around the edges.

And these are just so cool.......Making embellishment masculine. I love that Christopher Bailey can continually think of new ways to reemphasize Burberry's military history. The gold buttons as epaulettes - Brilliant! (And further emphasis on the shoulders as well - this is definitely a theme! The guys couldn't let women have all the fun....they're finding different ways to catch up to the shoulder trend that has been dominating women's wear for the past few seasons.)

Also on my radar - Costume National! I admit, at first I clicked right through the collection. But then something caught my eye - there are some amazing textural things going on here. Again a softness around edges - I can't emphasize enough what a departure this is from the past few seasons! - a slightly fuller silhouette, longer hems.
But what makes this collection stand out is the mash up of textures:

Ombre felting?!?!?!?! I could be making that up, but this is what it looks like to me. And the basket weave felted onto the suiting wool - wonderful. Surprising, textural, unexpected. I can imagine the feel of the suit in the center picture - smooth gabardine, seeming to grow fuzz as you slide your hand down the jacket. Like moss growing on a rock. All of the sudden the grey 3 piece suit is modern, fresh, and a little bit rock and roll.

The different materials are so well integrated into these coats that it becomes purely a textural study. They are chic and modern, and the insets add interest as opposed to being distracting.
I can see the coat in the center being incredibly wearable with a number of different outfits - anything from jeans and boots, to a navy suit. The fit, combination of fabrics and unique color could instantly modernize any look. Do they make it in my size??????

I'll keep checking out the shows!

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