Versace Goes “Versace” – Spring/Summer 2012

Seventeenth century Baroque architecture and art was used by the Roman Empire to impress visitors by expressing triumphant power and control.  The Versace name has always lived and breathed Baroque.  While many of the fashion houses are muting or getting rid of colour altogether for next spring/summer, Donatella has cranked up the volume.  Sure, there are plenty of timid grey and beige suits, but even they have nuances of Baroque in the detailing.  SS12 is about classic, raw, in-your-face Versace.  Highlights of the collection included Glen plaid suits, a canary yellow suit (featured in several of the Milan collections), the footwear including the gladiator sandals, the buckled sports jackets/suits, an elaborately studded black leather jacket, the swimsuits, and definitely those gorgeous terrycloth robes.  Versace in all its glory.  A return to vibrant intrepid colours, audacious zebra prints, buckles, shackles, and gold studs –  a return to 1980s Miami.

Versace SS12

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

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

Style Tips: Lindsay & Priscilla – “Italians Do It Better” Party at Gotstyle

Voted Best Menswear Store by NOW Magazine, Best Place To Buy a Suit by BlogTO, and One of the Top 10 Menswear Stores in Canada by SHARP MagazineGotstyle is an excellent one-stop-shop for men offering a huge selection in men’s designer and tailored suits, casual wear, shoes, ties, and other men’s accessories.  Located across the Thompson Hotel in downtown Toronto, they even boast the city’s first male-only spa staffed by beautiful women, and a two-chair barbershop (click here to book an appointment).

On Wednesday night Gotstyle invited guests to an Italians Do It Better party that featured some of the best in Italian men’s fashion, wine, truffle risotto, and Fresco gelato.  Michael La Fave, publisher of SHARP Magazine For Men swung by as did Philosopher Kings frontman, Jarvis Church.  Cut video footage suggests that there was even an event crashing Scottish Sasquatch in the mix.  That explains the disappearing risotto.

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The Complete BOSS: Hugo Boss Fall/Winter 2011 – Menswear

On Thursday night, Hugo Boss Canada hosted a media-only presentation of Hugo Boss’ Fall/Winter 2011 Collection.  Held on the top floor of their luxurious downtown Toronto store at 83 Bloor Street West, the presentation offered a comprehensive look at a selection of men’s and women’s picks from the BOSS Black, BOSS Selection, BOSS Orange, and BOSS Green collections.  Above is video of the presentation and interview with Dawn Bellini, Director of PR & Marketing for Hugo Boss Canada giving It’s All Style To Me a brief synopsis of the FW11 collections.  Here is an overview of the menswear for each of the Boss FW11 lines, with highlights of some of the key pieces you might want to look for come next fall.

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