NYFW S/S'12: Then There Were Men...

Zina Tasreen , 09 Oct 2011
S/S'12 (from right to left): Patrick Ervell, Perry Ellis, Robert Geller, Billy Reid
S/S'12 (from left to right): Billy Reid, Robert Geller, Perry Ellis, Patrick Ervell

Ah, those beings from Mars! Y-es, the fashion radar picks them up, too – not as overwhelmingly as the ones from Venus, mind – to find that: the English celebrate eccentricity, the Italians ooze louche glamour, the Americans keep it clean-cut and the French make turning one’s back on fashion a thing of art. If neat, understated, young but classic is your style, then turn to the kind souls over in New York Fashion Week, who have dished out a few tricks for you to freshen up your look come Spring/Summer 2012. This “preppy look” ‒ somewhat denoting *cough* a certain pampered upbringing – was spiked with a good dose of pop, through bizarre fabric choices, a Crayola palette and unexpected finishes, for S/S’12.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece S/S'12
Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers S/S'12

Nowhere was this twisted prepster look more pronounced than at Black Fleece line by Brooks Brothers (designed by the “showman-provocateur-visionary” Thom Browne) where white silk lapel tuxes were paired with black scout shorts, preppy bow-ties replaced ties and were paired with plaid shirts, casual waistcoats and jeans.

Tommy Hilfiger S/S'12
Tommy Hilfiger S/S'12

While Tommy Hilfiger’s collection titled “Pop Prep” was quite literally that, or rather prep gone hyperactive.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label S/S'12
Ralph Lauren Purple Label S/S'12

It was somewhat old wine in a new bottle for Ralph Lauren, the reigning king of preppy clothing, for his Purple Label line: classical stuff with a slimmer fit.

All very well, but it was at Simon Spurr, Michael Bastian and Antonio Azzuolo where I spotted interesting bits and pieces – which would add a bit of novelty into the wardrobes of men with a low tolerance for fashion (!).

Simon Spurr S/S'12
Simon Spurr S/S'12

The lacquered lapels (my favourite from all of S/S’12!) on an immaculately cut grey suit at Simon Spurr was a stylish spin on a classic spring formal-wear staple. He played around with the double-breasted jacket – mixed-contrast sleeves in leather, striped sleeves ‒ with reassuringly masculine results. Colour-blocking, a spill-over from women’s wear, was attempted without trespassing into the effeminate territory in the slightest. It is with mesh fabrics, though, that he pushed the envelope: wearing it as an outer layering or underneath a double-breasted blazer (note: how to pull off double-breasted jacket in spring/summer without sweating like a swine!). And oh, the three-piece suits: purrr-fection!

Antonio Azzuolo S/S'12
Antonio Azzuolo S/S'12

Antonio Azzuolo made use of his sartorial flair to give an insouciant take on trousers (and shorts) – crotches were dropped and off-center all at once ‒ that came across rather hip and season-appropriate (Plus, they reminded me of dhotis, don’t you agree?). He paired those trousers with head boys’ private school suits, which emanated a classical yet youthful vibe. The white buttons peeking out of the classic black tuxedo made a demonstratively cheeky yet sophisticated picture.

Michael Bastian S/S'12
Michael Bastian S/S'12

Cuffed trousers (okay, not exactly new; Thom Browne has been championing it for years now) worn with tasselled loafers at Michael Bastian’s are guaranteed to give some sartorial swagger. For a wonderfully quirky spin on the smart there were the window pane blazers, casually worn bow-ties, 1950s eyewear. A white shawl-collar tuxedo jacket with black lapels accessorized with red pocket square looked remarkably du jour and elegant.

Go on guys, you know you want to!

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