DSquared2’s European Vacation – Spring/Summer 2012

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Dean and Dan Caten do Canada proud by always trying to design and produce a collection bigger and better than the one before it.  Sounds cliché I know, but mission accomplished this week as the twin brother duo put on an over-the-top spectacle of a fashion show in Milan (see video above, click here for part two).  The Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is a brilliantly designed revolving carousel of European looks – literally.  The American tourist and their travel itinerary inspired a collection that found their muse spending summer vacation in Europe.  Starting with a trek through the mountains and fjords of Scandinavia, possibly making some extra money on a fishing trawler before paying their way through the rest of their vacation through the sun-drenched beaches of Mykonos, those scenic romantic nights of Florence, and posh party streets of central London.

Aside from the first outfit with the Breton sweater (first photo below), the black fisherman’s sweater and cool new specs that looked vaguely familiar (first & second photo below), most of the Norwegian looks were lost on me.  Our spring and summer isn’t the warmest here in Canada, but unless you’re spending them in Nunavut, there certainly is no need for the work gloves, boots, and double socks.  I’m guessing that the same holds true for Scandinavia.  I generally didn’t like the Scandinavian looks which could have passed for a DSquared2 capsule collection for Old Navy.

“Did you say dance?”  Queue up the sirtaki from Zorba The Greek, a turn on the carousel to reveal some bottle-popping boys chilling on Super-Paradise to the summer 2010 smash hit by Nickos Ganos, Last Summer.  Campy Mykonos-inspired bikinis, trunks, and mesh tanks on freshly waxed bodies booted the fashion show into second gear.  The swimwear and accessories were impressive, especially the sunglasses, parrot-printed white swim trunks, and sandals.  Seriously though guys, time to retire the baseball/trucker caps.

Another turn of the carousel and the scene shifted to a romantic evening in Firenze.  Here we find some of the best pieces of the collection.  Suede moccasins, yellow pants, double-breasted white sports jackets, and dressy leather sandals – this collection was made for me.  As the stage transformed itself into a London loft, DSquared2 demonstrated a selection of incredible looks that picked up where their SS11 collection left off.  Amazing pieces for a day or night out on in any European town or anywhere really.  This collection proved that for a bunch of Canadians, we do a great job keeping up with the Italians in their own backyard no less.  Not bad eh?

Dsquared2 SS12

Double-Breasted Comeback

Double-Breasted Jacket

::::: Double-Breasted Jackets Top L-R: SS11 Acne, Cavalli, Gucci, Gianfranco Ferré, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bottega Veneta ::::: Bottom L-R: David Beckham, Spiro Mandylor, Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, Ryan Gosling

It’s been an exciting year for men’s fashion.  Last season we saw major trends such as plaid shirts, bow ties, and rolled pant-cuffs peak in popularity.  In early January, the It’s All Style To Me Men’s Spring/Summer 2011 Essentials were posted and highlighted some of what I felt were the most promising trends of the upcoming season.  Belted trench coats, braided leather belts, statement sports jackets, white suits, colour blocking, leather strap sandals, and seasonal knits have livened up our wardrobes.

Single Vs. Double-BreastedSince its reintroduction in 2008, the double-breasted suit and men’s dress jackets have been picking up steam, making a huge comeback.  No longer limited to fixtures of the 1980s such as Wall Street bankers, creepy game show hosts, and slick used car salesmen – double-breasted suits are looking pretty cool again.   The demand for double-breasted suits and separates has been fueled by new innovative new designs coming out of the world’s leading fashion houses.  Male celebs like David Beckham and Ryan Gosling have been daring enough to give them a go and Kurt Hummel even sported one in at least one episode of Glee last fall.  They fit in nicely with trendy young guys who are adopting the cleaner, tailored, preppy look reminiscent of the Mad Men era.

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Strap In: Men’s Leather Strap Sandals Spring/Summer 2011

Men's Sandals SS11

Men's Sandals SS11: Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Kris Van Assche, Ermenegildo Zegna, DSquared2

Sandals have been around forever.  Technically the first real shoe, ancient Egyptians made them from palm leaves and papyrus, the Greeks made from willow leaves and twigs, and the Japanese from pieces of fabric and rice straw.  These archaic sandals sound significantly less comfortable than the cheap and cheerful Havaianas everyone’s been wearing for better part of the last 10 years.  I own a few pairs of Havaianas as well.  They are great for hitting the beach in Miami, or heading up to that overpriced insect-ridden cottage in Muskoka you mungie cakes seem to love.  Muskoka doesn’t sound all that bad when the alternative is lounging around an open toxic sewer that we comically call the beach here in Toronto.

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Block Off: A Lesson In Men’s Blockology

Men's Blockology

Men's SS11 Colour Blocking by Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, Moncler Gamme Bleu, Prada, DSquared2, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci

Back in January, I had posted a list of It’s All Style To Me Essentials for Spring/Summer 2011.  Subsequent Men’s SS11 trend posts have gone over the Belted Trench Coat, Braided and Roped Belts, the Über Statement Sports Coat, and The White Suit.  While contemplating the popularity of men’s coloured trousers and the widespread use of bright blues throughout the SS11 collections, it dawned upon me that these trends were part of a bigger picture.

Making its début in womenswear, the colour-blocking trend’s prevalence can be traced back to Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s.  Some credit a retrospective of the designer’s work in Paris last year as the source of a revival, but I would argue that this may not necessarily be the case.  Colour-blocking has been making a strong comeback ever since the SS09 Collections of Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, and Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Braided Men’s Belts Aren’t Just For Seniors

Braided Leather Belts SS11

Braided Belts SS11 - Etro, Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, DSquared2, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, General Idea

Michael Kors SS11

Michael Kors - Threaded Belt

A tribute to the 1990s or to the senior citizens of Florida – the braided leather belt is making a huge comeback for men this coming season.  Many of the fashion houses, particularly the Italian ones, accessorized their Spring/Summer 2011 Collections with braided and rope styled belts.  Also known as woven or plaited belts, they are generally worn slimmer and longer than traditional belts.  Few of these belts have any set holes punched in, so you can stick the prong in anywhere for a perfect fit.

For an added touch of personal style, wear your braided leather or rope belt a size or two longer.  Knot off the rope belt and let it hang as is (see photo above).  With the braided belt, try threading the end of the belt up and around itself as seen in this Michael Kors SS11 photo.  Dominant colours for SS11 are shades of black, brown, khaki, and white.  Have fun dressing them up with seasonal linen or light cotton suits together with a pair of loafers as styled by Etro or Gucci.  For a more casual look, try them with a pair of jeans or shorts and leather sandals.  You’ll be the envy of Broward County.

Click on the belts below for details and pricing

Lanvin Woven BeltKris Van Assche Braided Black BeltKris Van Assche Braided Brown BeltLinea Pelle Collection BlackGap Boys Brown Braided Leather BeltNautica Men's Genuine Leather Braided Belt

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