There were too many collections to keep track. And though I loved them all, I had to narrow it down to the ones that stood out to me. And even if they didn’t, there was something strong in their message. Something worth noting.
Versace menswear – Fall/Winter 2011-2012
The new trend: Blue
Blue is back, but with a lot more panache than the denim that inundated fashion last year. Blue – this year – is royal; soothing, much like the exquisite beaches in Aruba. Donatella Versace did a beautiful rendition of blue in swathed sweaters and fine-tailored suits, while Dries Van Noten, though not a standout in the collections, did a beautiful number on those double-breasted wool-blend coats. But Acne was, by far, the best collection in this department. Jonny Johansson, creative director behind the brand, complemented the hue with the minimalism trend giving it a very contemporary appeal.
Paul Smith menswear – Fall/Winter 2011-2012
The new trend: Orange
Last year it was burnt sienna, but this year, it’s a full-out ode to the hue representing enthusiasm and creativity. Ann Demeulemeester, mostly known for her dark design concepts, threw in punches of orange as show here, while Kenzo enriched the colour with a bit of berry. Paul Smith, otherwise known for his whimsy multi-coloured stripes, added a bit of edge to his collection, but threw in orange for good measure. It definitely worked.
Givenchy menswear – Fall/Winter 2011-2012
The new trend: Graphic print
Alright, this is not particularly a new trend. But, it is one that designers want you to understand. Yohji Yamamoto did what appears to be an ode to the late Alexander McQueen, you know, the gorgeous art of the medieval era, Sir McQueen was so good at – but, in true Yamamoto fashion – a bit of whimsical flair lightening things up. It is fashion at its peak, but still wearable for those into making statements through their clothes. I have said, for a long time, that I am in love with Riccardo Tisci. This has not changed, and neither has my love for his design hand at Givenchy. With its incorporation of pitbulls, Jesus and chains, this collection was very west-coast, very “hood,” and an interesting cross-over into more accessible fashion. As for Jean-Paul Gaultier, the man who gets his inspiration from the street, there was nothing new. But that’s okay, Mr. Gaultier played on his strengths: prints, sexuality and fantasy. But his way with prints, in this case, is indisputable.
Burberry Prorsum menswear – Fall/Winter 2011 2012
The new trend: gray, hats, bags
The thing about this, is that there’s too many to just single out one. When I look at the hats – especially in the Dior Homme collection – it’s an easy ode to Indiana Jones. But, when I look at them, I think of the late, absolutely great Michael Jackson. He lives on through fashion. And the way the hats tilt (as seen in Lanvin), concealing the eyes just so, it is an obvious reference. As for gray, the colour representing sorrow, security and maturity, rather than dwell on the bad, let us think of it for its security. It’s dependability. And, better yet, as seen in Burberry Prorsum, its sleekness. “Manbags” – feared by men across the globe at first, are now bigger than ever. To the point of commonality. But unlike the men in skirts trend last year, this one is nothing to be ashamed of. And as the trend develops, it learning to take on a masculinity of its own.