Six Styles in Question


Givenchy’s strong affinity for sporty street-style often belies the brand’s tailoring expertise. A double-breasted pinstriped suit reminds us that the French house can do classical just as well as pop. Salvatore Ferragamo shows us exactly how many things you can do with your stripes. At first, the label’s creative director Massimiliano Giornetti tries skinny ones on bomber jackets that straddle the line between polished and trendy. He then proceeds to add bold multicoloured ones on T-shirts (even a snakeskin shirt) that are just plain fun.

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The term sports luxe, referring to that marriage of sportswear silhouettes and luxurious material, has been around for the past couple of years and does not seem to be abating anytime soon. Hugo Boss remains quintessentially tailored – even its sports jackets cut a sharp figure, tapering close to the body. American sports luxe stalwart Calvin Klein Collection came at it with cheeky irony, throwing a dash tailoring of trompe l’oeil denim on its signature minimalism. Berluti’s effortless fluidity is testament to Alessandro Sartori’s deft hand, creating high-tech fabrics that don’t look anything but organic. Case in point: the waterproof calfskin leather jackets.

Several designers decided to look back in order to look forward, taking design cues from the days of yore. British brand Dunhill decided that top hats and tailcoats were the order of the day and managed to create a collection that is both retro and timeless. Ermenegildo Zegna, another classic menswear label, also managed the paradoxical feat of referencing decades past in its Madras checks and louche knits while remaining achingly modern. That Stefano Pilati decided on the 1970s John and Beverley Martyn track during the runway show is no accident. Prada’s contrast coloured aviators and pixelated iconography represent a more recent blast from the past, distilling the 1990s into a collection of playful graphics and Gen-X ennui.

There’s no escaping the satin bomber jacket this season, whether it’s Louis Vuitton’s show-opener where a pair of cranes danced in front of a blue-and-red background, or Valentino’s slightly more muted versions. Designers have been looking East for years but seldom have results been as nuanced or varied. But perhaps most enamoured with Asia is Dolce&Gabbana. Taking inspiration from the extravagant Chinese Palace of Palermo, Sicily, the Italian duo sent elaborate prints of peacocks and pavilions down the runway.

Florals in spring aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, but in Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, they explore an unabashedly feminine masculinity. Featuring floral prints, embroidery and even lace, the wealth of botanic abundance offers an appealing counter to some of the season’s more masculine styles. Burberry’s Christopher Bailey served up a more classic take on the trend, even though lace did abound on the runway as well. In much smaller doses, the floral lace is understated, lending interesting texture under a sharp suit, giving an otherwise placid look a slightly punk edge. Hermes also got in on the act, albeit in a slightly more abstract sense, imbuing the pieces with an elegant softness without infringing on their manliness.

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Published 22nd April 2016