FALL MENSWEAR: UMIT BENAN

MILAN – perhaps the most intriguing menswear designer of the moment for me, umit benan has been a name i’ve grown increasingly obsessed with for the past year & two seasons. the turkish designer grew up in his families textile company, which lead him to his career in design following his graduation from high school in switzerland & his attendance in college in the united states, in boston. after spending summers in milan learning to draw, benan eventually relocated to milan to earn his masters, while simultaneously studying styling at london’s central saint martin school of art & design, while also traveling back to his home of istambul to study textile techniques with his father. with additional courses in pattern making taken at parsons new school of design, this long haul of refining knowledge & design technique lead benan to the launch of his namesake label, umit benan. all this, as an artist, attracted me to the type of design benan is. one that will stop at nothing to raise his level of knowledge all to create. in looking at his collections, you’ll notice a sophistication & structure to his pieces. unbreakable & undeniably chic, the work of umit benan has become a greater focus of mine, especially considering the often lacking quality of menswear collections across the globe. again, this season, benan continues to impress with his refined approach to men’s style.

inspired by the military, more specifically the film ‘police academy’, benan set out to create a collection which represent the same uniformity & clean lines seen on the backs of our troops. always a hit in my personal style book, a military themed collection is pretty much faultless with me- it’s timeless, always handsome & test the designer taking on the direction by demonstrating their skill in tailoring. all marks hit on the head, benan presented a palette of varied greens, contrasted with tones of yellow. use of wool, additions of plaid & the look of utilitarian was enforced on the runway as masculinity was the headlining feel of the collection. beautifully executed, the collection was modeled by an unexpected set of models, which reveals umit’s love of streetcasting when shooting images for his look books, collections & runway shows. umit has made it very clear that his greatest inspiration through the years has been real people; which adds a deeper sense creativity & connection for me. as an observer & photographer, benan represents a reaction to the world around us, through design, which i completely admire. the collection presented this season is one of my favorites & is a complete departure from what was seen from umit last season, which took us on a journey back to the 80’s. a refreshing design voice is what umit represents, im always thrilled to see what has inspired him from season to season. also considering his gig as creative director at trussardi, im excited to see umit’s vision expand through not only his own work but through his work with other labels. im also anticipating how this vision will trickle into the campaigns for both labels, his own & trussardi, in the coming year. a strong collection with a clear vision & beautiful inspiration. im obsessed with this collection, as i was with umit’s last. his attention to clean detail & how it’s translated is unendingly inspiring to me. umit is a m’fuckn star.  [source]

FALL MENSWEAR: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

LONDON – surprisingly, the FW12 menswear collection from alexander mcqueen was presented off runway in this chic little look book. two male models of color were seen outfitted in the collection look book, which boasted a bit of british fashion formality. one aspect which i’ve never understood about the mcqueen menswear label, even when lee mcqueen himself was alive, was the lack of showmanship that was seen. there’s a certain level of creativity that is seen in the womenswear collections that is not seen in their menswear, which i find completely disappointing, one dimensional &  quite frankly, i find it annoying. all annoyances aside, perhaps style experimentation is not the best thing for the menswear market when trying to remain profitable in such a competitive industry. this season, in terms of wearability, the collection is filled with handsome looks that merge new shit with the classics.

the collection seemed to play it safe with a navy, maroon plum & white palette. there was slight experimentation, though nothing to the mcqueen standard, that was seen in the collections dipped plaids & some of the collections use of print. slight use of rose floral embroidery was seen on a few pieces, though nothing in the set was groundbreaking by any means. from my appreciation of the models of color casting, to my nod of wearability, i wouldnt be surprised if the mcqueen label phased out their menswear in the nex few seasons. while i have been impressed by the labels McQ diffusion line, there seems to be a greater creative direction in other mcqueen lines but no focus is being placed on the menswear. going solely off of my own opinion from what is seen as a final result during show season, im hoping that this will somehow shift & there will be a resurgence of men’s design for the british based label. i will be looking for at least a thread of design relativity between this collection & what will be presented for the label’s womenswear collection, though im sure the female take will be turned up by a few notches. [source]

FALL MENSWEAR: MONCLER GAMME BLEU

MILAN – under the creative direction of thom browne, moncler has become more radically classical over the past few seasons. as a label i’ve uncovered, for readers less aware, as having a history based in ski & winterwear; this season browne continues to reinvent the label by brining it’s history more to the forefront. a perfect design fit for the label, thom has impressively created a range of quilted ski wear each season that has me contemplating the slopes & i don’t ski. the collection’s palette was filled with crisp whites, which were paired with royal reds & bouts of yellow. as the collection progressed, the palette soon transformed to a set of heavy greys, accented by slight shades of navy & black. a manipulator of classical style, thom browne has been given a strong opportunity to flex his design muscle with moncler & it seems as though he’s taking full advantage of that. the silhouettes of the collection were as versatile as any other label, though the construction concepts that seem much more complex. clearly, not the ordinary collection, the adherence to classic style rules were still abided by as beautifully as any other menswear collection.

never have i seen a label & a designer leading that label, fit so perfectly together. while some designers might think the concept of ski wear is so limiting, browne continues to stretch the possibilities each season, creating stylish pieces endlessly. i loved the full body ski suits that were in this collection & impressively, loved the quilted trench coat & blazer. even amidst heavy winterwear, the collection was packed with beautiful styling & layering. i love when designers take the brands heritage & reference it in new, modern ways; which is exactly what browne continues to do with moncler. as one collection i loved piece by piece from start to finish, i completely applaud thom browne’s prowess of design & all the barriers he’s breaking with moncler gamme bleu. overall, the collection was one of strength, complete cohesion, thoughtful design & sharp execution. definitely, another one of my favorites this season but for different reasons. considering that moncler truly stands alone in the lane of winterwear. incredible collection that completely inspires. [source]

FALL MENSWEAR: TRUSSARDI

MILAN – under the creative direction of one of my absolute favorite designers right now, umit benan, trussardi presents their latest fall collections on the runways of milan men’s fashion week. as many collections of trussardi, i’ve observed in the past- umit benan is rapidly changing the style quality of the collections in a much more creativity & style appeal. previously under the direction of multi-talented, creative genius milan vukmirovic, the trussardi label has presented off the runway & taken a position in fashion as more on-trend rather than acting as it’s own label, free from creative restraints. familiarity with umit benan, through his own namesake line, i was very excited to see that he had adapted changes to the trussardi label so early into his involvement with them. refreshing through new concepts & unexpected in design, the FW12 trussardi collection appears genuinely inspired. the collection is camp, but does not tread too far into the realm of cheesy, played perfectly in my opinion.

a vivid ode to the 70’s was seemingly represented for trussardi’s milan runway fashion show, with the collection packing a powerful punch in a smaller set of looks. i always find it interesting to see how bigger labels do bigger collections, but even in presenting in large quantities, the quality is not there. so was the case with trussardi, each look incredibly stylish & quality was dripping from every seam. a rich palette of oranged reds, soft greys, brown leathers, along with a range of blues & shades of yellows were all seen, which allowed the feel of the 70’s to come through that much more. from flared pants to neck scarves, to the retro shades worn by each model, the collection was successful in it’s delivery of style from the past. noticeable was the presence of accessories, which most menswear labels have been producing much more these days. overall, i love a collection that is well directed, cohesive & entertaining- which is what i got from this collection. while i don’t often identify with style that had existed in the 70’s, this season, im growing to appreciate it. im excited to see what benan will do as creative director for trussardi & am hoping that his presence will reshape the label, which has been resting on potential to be greater for the last few years. [source]