SPRING MENSWEAR: UMIT BENAN
by Jeremy Danté
PARIS – perhaps one of my favorite names in fashion at the moment, umit benan is one fearless dude. from shattering the prototype of model castings to his unabashed approach to story telling through design- it’s all theatrical but not in a jarring manner. not in a camp sort of way that makes you feel uncomfortable. it’s smart. i love the relaxed, cool masculinity of his menswear collections & recognize a certain air of fluidity in the ways that silhouette is referenced this season. all creative articulation aside, the shit is just super fucking cool. the staging of the show was actually very creative; as male models were revealed after a curtain was pulled exposing a set of beds. these bed were intended to represent a bedroom & yes, these bedrooms were complete with couples of men & women sharing these bed. the simulation of bedrooms went further when each male model rose out of bed, only to be dressed by the female models that accompanied them. benan explained that the collection was intended to tell a story that he once lived, when a woman he loved affected his style. i too have found this story to be extremely personal, as the love of my life is the single greatest influence of how my personal style has evolved. which i value highly, as it has contributed to who i am & how i see the world- more importantly, how the world sees me.
the level of intimacy that is felt through the clothes is magnetic- it pulls you in powerfully. almost like love. it begins with intrigue & soon you’re caught up, looking for a way to figure out, ‘who am i?’ or ‘what was i doing before this’. what i love of umit is his ability to take your mind to another place, he almost makes you forget that it’s fashion & you become one with his mindset, with his translation of style. the ultimate intimacy is to allow someone to dress you- to allow that to happen is you allowing someone to affect the way you are seen. i feel that style as it relates to romance is a lane that is not explored enough & here, in this collection this season- that discussion is given a home. in palette, the collection is sensational- vibrant through use of orange & blue, bold like the beginning of a relationship that is flourishing with expectation. it’s new, it’s young, it’s fresh- still feels very familiar, but there is enough feel of new to draw you in to wait & see what happens next. these are more than just clothes here- this is a revealing look at the man that benan is- as a creative force in fashion, which is held in much higher regard than just a simple designer. while i like the clothes, the story & staging- combined, i love this collection in a greater capacity. [source]