The Fashion Statement: Dream Hommes
Menswear changes at a snail's pace. New cuts are generally so imperceptible year in and year out that they usually sneak up on the average American male. One day a gentleman dons his everyday business suit shocked to discover that the sleeves are too long, shoulders too wide and the whole kit and caboodle is woefully out of date.
So it's news that the Spring '11 menswear shows, that ended in Milan on Tuesday, are really shaking things up, particularly when it comes to color. That's a gutsy move in a challenging global economy where sales are down and designers want play it safe (tie sales have been pitiful recently). But the wealthy are still wealthy and they don't need anything, so newness is what they're after, according to menswear analysts.
Giorgio Armani (pictured above) delivered splashed citrus yellow and sky blue everywhere-on belts, ties, scarves and shirts. Marc Jacobs presented subtle silhouette changes which he zipped up by hints of electric blue and fuchsia. Gucci designer Frida Giannini dreamed of young guys jetting between Rome and Marrakesh. What would these bourgeois gentilhommes wear? Why, suede shorts, Berber jewelry and velvet horse bit loafers, of course.
Dan and Dean Caton, the duo behind Dsquared2, had American Gigolo on their minds with tight trousers, pointy loafers and shirts unbuttoned down to there. But color reigned here as well: candy pinks and greens, yellows, sky blues and pale reds.
Dolce & Gabbana over the years has taken most of their inspiration for menswear from the island of Sicily. They marked their 20 year anniversary in kind with a sepia-toned collection referencing black-and-white photographs of summers past. White jeans, pale pink shorts, pin-striped robes and pajamas and khaki sweaters and tank tops rounded out the mix.
Moschino was probably among the flashiest of the bunch with slim, high-water pants that comes in canary yellow, cherry red and apple green. Relative newcomer Neil Barret played into the skinny vibe, but introduced elongated jackets, shirts and sheer shirts.
The best reviews went to the veteran: Ermenegildo Zegna celebrated 100 years in the biz with a collection that included seersucker suits in pale grays and whites with trousers in pink, blue and orange. Kudos went to Zegna not for buying into color, but for its tailoring craftsmanship that has maintained its longevity for longer than the lifespan of most fashion houses. Zegna also shined for its luxurious fabrics such as wool culled from the antelopes who roam Zegna's mountainous home in Trivero, Italy. Tutto bene.