Menswear F/W 11/12 cont.

Dsquared²
I absolutely LOVE Dsquared2 (other than the fact that that’s totally what I wanted to name my company someday!), especially since their looks always seem fearless, with this go-get-em attitude. The ‘church-y’ version of “Come as you Are” opened the Dsquared2 show as a grungy-dressed model strutted down the runway. Lean monochrome tailoring, skinny denims, sensible use of black leather detailing, hints of luxury in fur trims, and crystal-beaded waistcoats were only a few of the many adornments that Dean and Dan Caten included in their seductive collection.

Emporio Armani
 The title of Emporio’s show for the F/W 11/12 collection was “Industrial.” In fine shadings of gray and taupe, it offered a vision of urban dressing that took the collection into elegant new territory. The key piece was the coat, replacing Armani’s signature jacket as the main foundation for the Fall season. Unstructured, slim-line, and occasionally paired with a waistcoat, it looked best in a mid-calf length. The collection carried through into jackets that were as soft as cardigans, and a hard bound leather harness waistcoat.
Henrik Vibskov
 At the opening of Henrik Vibskov’s Fall presentation, two jump-suited men in vintage aviator glasses set about arranging a series of parachute balloons on racks.  Vibskov’s preferred silhouette of oversize, flowy tops and jackets and tapering, drop-crotch pants lives on. But this time, he toned down his palette and usage of prints. Jackets were delighted with irregular lapels, some migrating with geometric points, others rounded into soft curves and coats were blown up to become billowing poncho capes. The stunner piece was a multi-pocketed anorak that truly speaks for itself.
John Richmond
 English-born designer often designed with music in mind; but his latest collection, inspired in part by the Manchester post-punk scene of the early eighties, felt quite off the beat. This amounted to baggy, boot-cut pants, shiny suiting, and cutout leathers. Many models were accessorized with sparkling rhinestones, velvet, and enormous patches of fur. A luxury, almost 90s spin, on eighties punk, Richmond is getting close to the ‘right’ direction.
John Varvatos
 Before the show, John Varvatos stated the men of his collection “started [out] in London and [ended] up here in Milan.”An enormous set of gravel-inlaid train tracks stretched out the runway before a station’s clock rose as the backdrop (which reminded me of John Galliano’s Spring 2011 collection). Looks were composites of layers upon layers: Sleeveless coats became vests worn over thick cardigans; suede biker jackets turned waistcoat when layered underneath wool overcoats. Texture, whether in the form of fuzzy sweaters, chemically treated fabrics, or raw edges surely represented a man on the move.


Lanvin

Lanvin always knows exactly how to put on a strong show that goes by in a flash. This one was filled with intense energy, a furious pace, and lots of tension – all in a great way, of course! The collection stayed closed with magnets instead of buttons. Outerwear that may have started life as an officer’s coat—double-breasted, epauletted—was re-seamed to within a millimeter of the models’ thin forms. Though one jacket had sporty quilting attached to its front, the monochrome torso was more linear than ever, emphasized even more by the wide-cut trousers that went with it.  That particular silhouette—tightly tailored jacket, baggy pants—was the essence of Lanvin’s mix of Old and New. What also stood out was how covered up the models were in their layers. Some wore fedoras mysteriously pulled low over one eye; but otherwise, everything was directed to highlighting the faces of the models. The final outfits featured velvet jackets over white shirts buttoned to the neck. Underneath, a mock turtleneck pushed the young men’s faces up into the light. 

final part continued next…

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