Continually taking inspiration and audacity to new levels, the recent menswear collections made striking creative statements. The Spring-Summer 2016 collections from LVMH Houses featured modern-day tribes who share affirmed and distinctive traits.
The Dior man is at the same time romantic and bourgeois, rebellious and individual, with a wardrobe that combines military uniforms and streetwear. Presented in a Versailles-style classical French garden planted with 2,000 Fée des Neiges rose bushes, the collection matches jacquard motifs with camouflage prints on knitwear, an abundance of zippers on jacket lapels, and decorative ceramic charms designed by American artist Kristin McKirdy.
At Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones imagined a “World Clique”, drawing on inspirations from around the world with refreshingly surprising combinations. An American baseball shirt becomes a Thai embroidered silk top. Military parka camouflage prints are transformed into a series of faded indigo brushstrokes on a painter’s palette. The “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” (“Fly, Sail, Travel”) slogan on t-shirts neatly encapsulates the global influences of the collection.
Man shows off his contrasts at Fendi. Silvia Venturini Fendi found perfection in imperfections, creating tensions by playing with oppositions. Wide pants are broken off by short cinched jackets, and delicately ornamented motifs have a “worn out” effect, inviting perception rather than observation.
Kenzo remains faithful to its adventurous nomadic spirit this season, but shifts the focus to the intrepid explorers of yesteryear. The House proposes a rationalized, utilitarian wardrobe where tent and parachute fabrics are transformed into technical clothes that recall safari jackets. The clothes are equipped with outsized PULL tags, announcing their function.
Riccardo Tisci continued in a mystical vein at Givenchy with a collection that recalled the age of the Knights Templar. Roomy silhouettes with key-ring necklaces worn with open collars were joined by Jesus motifs on transparent tops and short togas. This universe of avowed ambiguous virility included a series of haute couture silhouettes, one worn by Naomi Campbell, evoking a priestess for modern times.
Alessandro Sartori’s collection for Berluti was all about sophisticated lightness. Inspired by the rigorous simplicity of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh modernist urban architecture project in India, the designer reprised the contrasting color palette, with light gray alternating with bright purple. Technical prowess was featured in exquisitely fine kangaroo leather shirts and a parka crafted from a blend of paper and silk, creating a airy sensation while remaining totally waterproof.