Boys on the Side? Not anymore. If the sheer number of menswear shows were any indication of the importance of this market, then it’s clear that menswear is on the rise. The Spring shows began last month in London before moving on to Milan and then Paris where many American designers, like Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim showed their collections.
Of the many designers (the number is edging in on womenswear) who presented Spring collections, we were especially taken with Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Dolce and Gabbana, Emporio Armani and Z Zegna. Overall these designers presented a strong range of looks that were modern, colorful and at times, playful with prints.
We suspect that the Emporio Armani show—titled Impeccable—was a play on words for both the beautifully styled looks and the pecs that were on display! Perhaps channeling the mood of athleticism and the upcoming Olympic Games, the designer favored models with a muscular build shown off by above-the-knee shorts and deep-cut and unbuttoned shirts. Pairing jackets with shorts was a nice way of dressing up the Spring.
While Tomas Maier is known for his precision, perhaps his latest collection for Bottega Veneta was conceived while the designer was on vacation. It's all about easy dressing: not overly sporty or overly tailored, the looks were relaxed and unfussy. With hardly a button in sight, Spring at BV is all about pull-overs—sweaters, shirts, knits, tunics. And the jacket proved to be key to this collection as well.
Brioni got playful and colorful with a palette of coral, blues and mustardy yellow. The inspiration was Slim Aarons, whose photography captured the well-to-do in the natural environs, like the ones created for the presentation: game of pétanque, a picnic on the grass, or a leisurely bicycle ride. Blue, a very popular color for the season, made appearances as tuxedo jackets, denim separates, shorts and sweaters.
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are known for playing up their Italian heritage in their collections for Dolce and Gabbana. This season proved no different, and in fact, the designers casted their “models” directly from the towns and villages of Sicily. The result was an authentic collection of seaside-appropriate garb: fishermen sweaters, relaxed-fit pants, ankle-bearing slacks, simple shorts and a suit that exudes “what, this old thing?”
Z Zegna’s designer Paul Surridge presented his second collection for the label in Milan last week. "The silhouette is about leisure, about being on holiday, free from the restraints of corporate identity," he said in a recent interview. The set itself was awash in cool colors and light, said to have been influenced by artist Dan Flavin. There was definitely a retro vibe going on with colors like avocado, coral and lemon, but with a post-modern twist care of reflective sunglasses and boxier cut suiting.
ket among key items for spring