MILAN – plaid. pattern. texture. missoni understand this concept enough to master it as an artform. the missoni fashion heritage is based on their iconic and instantly recognizable useof pattern with stripes, geometrics, florals and a wide array of color. in the past, the missoni collections have appeared as busy, one-note and redundant. but those are days of old. this season, i loved the subtlety in use of pattern and texture. it was almost camoflauged, left embedded in the collections details, in an unsuspecting manner. which is smart. while iconic design elements are necessary when developing a signature, the use of variation was demonstrated well here. the collection palette ranged from warm to cool, but the sense of cohesionn remained consistent throughout. i loved the styling, the pairing of pieces, the contrasting of colors as well as the matching of colors. in spring, effortless is essential. this collection served that idea very well, you could easily just throw these pieces on and have them look just as chic as a three piece suit. angela missoni has done us proud. celebrating their 60th anniversary, the house of missoni remains inspired and this season borrowed that inspiration from west africa. i’ve watched the missoni label for a few years and have had my reservations with their sense of creativity. this collection changed my mind. modern and fresh, this collection proves to be a refreshed sense of style. labels have their lulls and then there are moments of excitement when you can feel the energy and newness. that’s what you feel now with the house of missoni. great collection for spring.

visit style.com to see archived collections from the house of missoni
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MILAN – of my favorite labels through the years, the vivienne westwood aesthetic is one that i could not understand upon first getting familiar with fashion. now, in the present day, i regard vivienne westwood like many other style mavens do, as one of the greats. always a standout, from concept to model cast, the collection showcased male models doused in plaids, multi-cultural garb and berets. collections by westwood always appear as a melting pot of sorts. there is often a combined aesthetic at vivienne westwood, it’s a culmination of ideas and styles. this season felt a bit more about internationality. i loved the use of blue in the collection, amidst the sea of colors that was provided on the runway. there were a few looks that provided a gradation of blue to brown- incredibly chic. the cast of models ranged in ethnicity, which drove the feel of internationality even further. the westwood way is about manipulating expectations and regularity in style. from the oversized dress shirts that turned into tunic to the isolated use of stripes and morrocan prints. every look presented another great set of details, in looking at this collection multiple times, you notice more details. as i have said many seasons before, the power of vivienne westwood’s design eye is a feast for the eyes. that power lives in the fact that the complete runway looks are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. those pieces still pack as powerful a punch as singular elements as well. you take one westwood jacket and pair it with a simple pant or even a basic t-shirt- magic. that’s what fashion is about, expanding the vision of what style can be. westwood has built greater content through her fashion design beyond expanding the ways we view style. models on the runway wore postcards that promototed the website activeresistance.co.uk. the site is cited as active resistance to propoganda, with exploration in conversation and demonstrative protests in relation to enviornmental responsibility, politics and the justice system as well as thoughts of culture.  as always a favorite of mine for the season. the show promotes the story of injustice regarding the arrest of united states army soldier, bradley manning. manning was arrested in 2010 while in iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website wikileaks. a full scale rundown of vivienne’s past collections appears on the site, providing explanation and subject matter for each collection. a genius idea, and brilliant format for providing a stronger base of vision through fashion design. vivienne westwood is criminally underrated as a designer and true influencer style. strong collection and vision.

visit activeresistance.co.uk for more information about vivienne westwood’s movement
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MILAN – neil barrett absolutely killed this season. the sleek lines, the almost chanel-esque jackets with the leather weaving, particular in look 14 & 35- outstanding! the use of leather, in what appeared as almost a tweed-like texture reminded is a genius idea. the choice to blend ideas from an iconic fashion house like chanel and then to turn the masculine edge up was well executed. while the inspiration for the collection is cited as california minimalism and the 1950’s, the referencing of the past was done in a way that was modern. i hated the grooming and the gel-matte type of style they did on the models, but i did admire the silhouettes that were chosen and this remained true to the barrett design name. i loved the horizontal stripes in the collection as well, the shorts- each look was complete, and each piece could easily be worn with pieces from your existing wardrobe, pieces from past collections by barrett or even other pieces in this collection.  i questioned some of the use of plaid, especially at the front end of the collection. but as the show progressed, the looks became much more refined, the vision much more clear and the show as a whole was well rounded. as a minimalist, i favored more of the subtle looks rather than the more bold pieces with excessive use of plaid, but understand that this was necessary in order to create a form of balance, and to avoid further boredom with yet another minimally design menswear collection. simplicity is key, but so is variation- this season neil barrett created a well versed balance of both. the power of this collection is seen in the jackets- that’s what sets it apart. while i did not favor the use of the hunter’s plaid, i did appreciate it’s simplicity in comparison to the other forms of brown and white. an outstanding showing for neil barrett, but im not sure that this will remain as powerful through to the end of the season, once all the other bigger labels show on the runway. that said, great effort. strong pieces, memorable details.

visit style.com to see archived collections by neil barrett
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