Tuesday, January 19, 2010


for moncler gamme bleu to succeed in such a narrow field such hi-performance luxury sportswear, it needed someone with thome brown's sense of humour to add an interesting dimension to what could otherwise be another bland hi-end performance line. his new take on the sartorial codes that has defined masculine dressing has influenced and provoked as much as it has been criticized for entertaining too much of his own personal fancies. since collaborating with the prestigious italian company he has proven that he is a much more capable and flexible designer that can take into consideration the needs of the moncler customer and its heritage, and at the same time be able to offer that man his own distinct aesthetic. which is his highly individual take on formal dressing that he has managed to adapt into moncler's repertoire. with his sense of theatrics, browne staged the collection with models asleep in the barracks in a uniform position in the same sleeping attire and suddenly awaken from the sound of a bugle horn. with the discipline of soldiers, all simultaneously arose and began to put on their parkas, anoraks, ski jackets, cable knit sweater and quilted suiting. ready for a trek on the italian alps the house originated from. for such an irreverent designer, it was surprisingly commercial without losing browne's trademark whimsy that his critics crucified him for before. browne has always been a very focused designer and it shows in the cohesiveness of his signature line, but here it was grounded in reality, give or take, because let's face facts, even the most adventurous of us won't step out of the house in a satin/fleece shirt nightgown. if he can find that focus again for his eponymous collection next month in new york, then maybe he can have the pleasure of for once silencing his critics.

consuelo castiglioni has always had the penchant to toy with ideas that recollect our childhood memories. with her every presentation it always feels as if we are watching a young boy playing dress-up in old man's clothes. the proportions are always a bit askew, the colours a bit odd, yet there is a formality about them. so there is always this playful naivete that makes her clothes so delightfully endearing. and it is that charm and youthful spirit that has made the house such a resounding success. but whatever childlike nonchalance the collections exudes, it is anchored with that milanese craftsmanship and some of the most developed textiles in the industry that gives the clothes a timelessness that makes it attractive to consumers of a broad age range. what we see during the presentation is castiglioni's vision. what consumers see on the sales floor are well tailored coats, luxurious fabrics and some of the most coveted accessories around, but all injected with that quirky marni signature so they never become mundane.

the versace man has always been a portrait of virile masculinity. while gianni versace's take was more about high gestures that verged on camp, this new versace man owes its character to its warrior instinct. this man is defiantly younger and more aggressive than his eighties and nineties predecessor, but at the same time its masculinity is on par with the versace of old who measured his manliness with his ability to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle he could afford and unapologetically flashed it with every opportunity. and the common thread that these two distinct male version of the same house share is their understanding and appreciation of the craftsmanship the house is synonymous with. displayed at this collection were some of the most impeccably tailored coats and suiting with some of the most complex pattern cutting shown in milan. solidifying the house's reputation with producing some of the most intricate cuts and fabrication in the industry. courtesy without a doubt by ex cloak designer alexandre plokhov's creative influence. since he was hired as a creative consultant for the menswear branch of the house, he has helped steer the brand out of its, for lack of a better word, gaudy reputation into one that is more congruent with the times. after all he was one of the designers who's work influenced today's definition of modern masculinity. and to further validate the point that this is still a classic versace collection, there was the reappearance of the iconic versace chain-mail mesh worked to appear as armour underneath those precision cut jackets.

photo: marni-menstyle.it, versace-gq.com

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