Canali Channels India – Spring/Summer 2012

Anna Dello Russo had once told me that she found menswear boring.  So much so, that she couldn’t bring herself to comment on the subject.  I sincerely hope that she was in Milan these past few days because the collections have invigorated men’s fashion and can be categorized as many things, but boring isn’t one of them.

In mid-January, Ermenegildo Zegna presented us with their engaging Fall/Winter 2011 Collection.  A Far Eastern inspired collection, it was designed to entice the growing Asian market.  By tapping into some of China’s historical designs and fusing them with traditional Italian tailoring, Zegna created one of the most astounding fall/winter collections of Milan Fashion Week.  Six months later, history has repeated itself, but this time it’s Canali who has channeled the rich historical fashion design influences of another growing market – South Asia.

Canali’s runway, a vast white pishtaq leading to an arched Mughal iwan was a clear reproduction of the entrance to Taj Mahal.  Striking handsome model after model poured out in Indian inspired suits, foulard, Nehru collared shirts, reworked slippers, and even a Ganesh-print tote.  The subdued pastels calmed the senses during the first part of the show which culminated in a climactic barrage of vibrant jewel-coloured suits and embellished tuxedos.

Canali’s SS12 collection provides a healthy mix of South Asian looks that run the gamut from conservative contemporary to abstract traditional.  Subtle South Asian detailing is found in the slim fitting ensembles.  Tailored two-piece suits layered over white T-shirts, silk scarves, and light cardigans for the conventional.  More traditional Indian looks featuring reinterpreted kurtis, churidars, and Indian slipper ready for the daring.

I’ve never been to India, but there are many beautiful pieces in this collection that I would definitely wear.  Definitely one of the top three collections to come out of Milan this Fashion Week.

Canali SS12


YYZ Living Magazine Summer Issue Launch Party

YYZ Living Magazine Summer Launch PartyThe rooftop bar of Ultra Supper Club was packed a couple of hours earlier than usual last Thursday night.  Lifestyle quarterly YYZ Living Magazine was holding its eagerly awaited Summer 2011 Launch Party.  If the insanity of the inaugural party that kicked-off their premier issue last winter was to be any indication, this was going to be one sick party.  On a night that played host to a celebrity and sponsor loaded Power Ball, YYZ held its own.

The apex of luxury, YYZ (airport code for Toronto) presents a definitive vision of arts, culture, and society from the Torontonian perspective.  What is the Torontonian perspective?  That’s a great question.  Toronto is a city that has developed an unhealthy obsession with luxury.  I’m sure we’re not alone and to be honest, I can’t quite figure out when it all started.  My guess is that it was somewhere in between the blinged out hip hop video programming of MuchMusic and the lunacy of Sex In The City.

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Gucci’s Restraint – Spring/Summer 2012

Frida Giannini has temporarily abandoned the signature Italian flamboyance and opulence of recent Gucci Men’s Collections veering into a decidedly more British contemporary-meets-classics sartorial looks for Spring/Summer 2012.  An exclusive sneak peek with GQ the day before the collection revealed that, “[This is a] new sartorial take on spring/summer for the Gucci man: a slim, precise silhouette, high-tech workmanship, and a playful attitude.”  Are we Italians or are we Germans?

The colours, just as restrained as the designs were predominately black-and-white mixed with creams and subtle greys.  A palette devoid of any real colour save a dazzling motel red trench and beautiful plum suit and leather jacket.  The focus of the SS12 collection, definitely in the patterned fabrics.  Houndstooth, Glen plaid, and windowpane checks all used in the tailored suits, separates, and casual collarless dress shirts.  Black horse bit loafers and black leather white-soled lace-ups reign supreme for SS12.  A marked departure from the tan and powder blue suedes loafers on camels and creams of SS11 and decidedly more Michael Caine circa Get Carter.

For Giannini, the devil is once again in the details.  Trousers with reinforced inner knees (riding pants?) and snaps or laces with contrast piping at the ankles looked incredible.  The subtlety of the thin leather necklaces and oversized boxy sunglasses with their gradient lenses –  a nice touch.  Best of show had to go to the men’s leather bags and briefcases which appear to be as luxurious as they are timeless.  A great collection and an interesting departure for Gucci, but please Frida for next season – bring the back the glam.             

Gucci SS12

D&G: An Homage To The Great One? – Spring/Summer 2012

This was at least the second season in a row where the D&G diffusion line has creatively eclipsed the premium Dolce & Gabbana collection.  From the James Brown Get On Up versus Prince’s Kiss mix that ran the entire show, to the brilliance of the collection and quality of production – it simply kicked ass.  If you don’t exactly know what foulard is, Domenico and Stefano are making it their mission to indoctrinate you.  The colourful printed silk fabric that originated in the Far East used predominantly in scarves and neckerchiefs, had dominated the D&G Spring/Summer 2012 Collection as the designers have decided to test the boundaries using it for and in everything.

With the exception of some linen, denim jeans and dress shirts – the sports jackets, dress shirts, trousers, and swim shorts are all foulard.  Raffia hats and suede moccasins prove the perfect accessories for one of the most impressive collections to come out of Milan this Fashion Week.  My only concern is that between Dolce & Gabbana’s numerous black pieces and the D&G silks, we’re going to be roasting under the sun next year.

Silk, denim, and raffia are shaping up to be the big trends for SS12 and D&G are leading the charge.  The relaxed silhouettes and bright foulard prints come together with distressed faded denim and scream of another decade, another designer.   An homage to the late-1980s / early-1990s and the late great Gianni Versace?  Perhaps.  Whatever the case, it’s nice to see the wild prints and ripped jeans back.

D&G SS12

Golf Prada Style – Spring/Summer 2012

Sports have always been an influence in fashion and fashion has been a huge factor in sportswear.  Lacoste, Fred Perry, Convers, all examples of sports apparel companies that have transcended the tennis and basketball courts to take on a life of their own with immense success.  The reverse is also true.  Thom Browne’s recent collections for Moncler Gamme Bleu have found inspiration outside of the ski world dabbling in the worlds of fencing, cycling, and royal dog showing (is that even a sport?).

Miuccia Prada is apparently no exception. Turning to the sport of golf for Spring/Summer 2012, she lined the room with green AstroTurf and attendees, seated on blue cube-shaped golf tees became the golf balls.  The collection was 100% golf, but Italian style.  Traditional golf plaids were reworked into something more befitting of the Mediterranean male.  Then there were the bombastic floral printed shower curtain trousers and jackets that I guarantee will get you banned from every respectable golf course.  The powder blue suits were very cool.  The Prada bowling shoes?  Uglier than a domestic altercation at the Tiger Woods residence.

Loving the Adventures of Tin Tin looking illustrated prints, a close second to the suits.  Perhaps the coolest and most creative in collection had to be the spaghetti western cowboy jackets and shirts studded with rhinestones.  The thought has crossed my mind that these pieces go beyond simple golf inspiration, a marketing strategy to draw attention to Prada’s new line of golf clubs and golf bags.  Alas, therein lies the cha-ching.

Prada SS12

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