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Color, colore, couleur! From Milan to Paris, the Autumn-Winter 2011 Menswear shows were vibrant, bursting with color, both hot and muted, perhaps in an attempt by haute couture designers to break out of the usual winter black and grays. Although there were some reoccurring themes in how pants (and of course jeans) were cut, each designer appeared to pick their own part of the early 20th Century as reference. Not much denim was offered for the season, although we saw plenty of inspiration drawn from denim workwear and jeans cut into twill, velvet, corduroy and leather. (Read more about this in tomorrow’s continued coverage of the shows).
We had hoped to see jeans from Acne (neutral tones and very wearable), Costume National Homme (luxury fibers and leather), John Varvatos (the dusty traveler), Raf Simons (a slight nod to Mondrian), Jil Sander (embossed textures and citrus hues), Kris Van Assche (a bit punk-parochial), Dior Homme (usual gray and back — with some inverse Zoot Suit overtones), and Henrik Vibskov (beautiful-strange longjohn ensembles), who chose to present suiting and winter wear with statement overcoats in non-denim textiles instead.
D&G: Youthful, slim and cropped silhouettes provide a Hipster-meets-Ivy League retro vibe. Tweed coats and vintage Coca-Cola branded apparel sets the tone. Drop-crotch jeans and workwear inspirations (not everyone has a full-ride scholarship!) turns back the clock just a bit.
View the D&G Fall 2011 slideshow here. Source: Style.com
Moschino: They love red. Lots of it. Masculine, athletic and virile themes for a youthful fall. Some distressed jeans in embroidered graphics provide a rebellious-chic touch.
View the Moschino AW2011 runway slideshow here.
Kenzo: some of the Dandiest looks ever (love the big safety pin tie pin). Low on denim offerings, Kenzo brought out plenty of patterns and prints, textures and layering colors. Patchwork denim, a bit off-trend for the season, provides a hobo quality to contrast against a vastly polished collection.
View the Kenzo AW2011 runway video here.
DSquared2: Full-on commitment to the Western, we loved how the jeans provided some “authenticity” with bullet holes which seem to exit in the front.
View the DSquared2 AW2011 slideshow here.
Edun: A collection which appears to actually revolve around denim! For Fall 2011, this second collection for new Design Director Sharon Wauchob, lets hand-finished technique shine over trend.
View the Edun Fall 2011 slideshow here.
Grunge And Thin Was In Back Then, Too.
Stand-out denim trends for AW 2011 were the Western and Dust Bowl (“The Dirty 30s”) theme (not necessarily mutually exclusive). Perhaps designers wanted to mirror the worldwide economic status and relive an idealized romanticism of the first Great Depression. It was a period when fashion was not fast, clothes were widely tailored and to be well worn (like our jeans). While not all denim offerings were of the gritty nature, we saw plenty of loose cut pants which could be denim interpretations (billowy trousers and front pleats) and tapered fits (drop-crotch cuts were widely embraced) to provide that oversized-yet lean look, much like society women in the 1920s who purposely wore dresses two sizes too big to appear thin and flat-chested. Stylish folk are a strange breed.
All images via GQ Magazine UK, except as noted.
– Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: 1930s, 1940s, Acne Jeans, avant-garde, aw 2011, color denim, D&G, Dior Homme, Dsquared2, Dustbowl, Edun, Henrik Vibskov, Jil Sander, John Varvatos, Kenzo, Kris Van Assche, menswear, minimalism, Moschino, Paul Smith, Raf Simons, retro, Roaring 20s, Western