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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Emperor's New Pullover

Some call it a pullover and essentially that's what you do with it.  In Britain its called a jumper.  In the States its called a sweater.  For Fall 2012 call it whatever you wish but just make sure you own a few.  Sweaters, or jumpers if you will, have always been a part of a man's wardrobe first for hunting and leisure then trickling on to collegiate and so on and so forth.

Menswear Designers for Fall 2012 explored the ideas of what a sweater is to a man's wardrobe: a layering piece, a option to a blazer or even a statement piece.  What was refreshing to see was the several ways in which designers played with our common notions of what a sweater should be fashioned from, what should go under it or what it should be coordinated with in a man's overall wardrobe.  When further notice is taken, certain fabrications and finishes make the traditional wearing of a sweater a cause for a reevaluation in layering and certain proportions cause for realizing new ways to mock the coordination of a suit.

New Skin
Normally held for jackets and outerwear, the push for leather and suede on a pullover silhouette plays with the consumer's idea of how leather should be used and creates an interplay between inner and outerwear while making a case for the tactile appeal of a skin cut closer to the torso in an unconventional way. 



L to R: Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Neil Barrett


 L to R: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Lanvin


Short-Sleeved
With appearances like a t-shirt but in fabrics normally attributed to tailoring and outerwear the short sleeve pullover plays with the idea of the casual appeal of a tee marrying itself with the more serious idea of menswear thereby creating greater dialogue for inventive layering and textural playing. 



L to R: Acne, Alexandre Plokhov, Richard Chai Love


 L to R: DSquared, Acne


Thick
Sometimes in the fall and even winter there are those sweaters that banish the need for a jacket as long as the extremities are protected.  A thick sweater can elevate itself to role of outerwear yet still play in the world of sportswear or even eliminate the need for heavy outerwear by allowing the wearer the don lighter protective layers.


 L to R: McQ, DSquared, Hermes


L to R: Neil Barrett, Moncler Grenoble, Band of Outsiders


L to R: Moncler Grenoble and Pringle of Scotland


Mock The Suit
Menswear sort of revolves around the suit.  The sweater can sometimes serve to break up a suit's rigidity or allow trousers to be worn as separates.  The following designers are exploring trousers juxtaposed with matching knitwear or knitwear forms thereby creating a more casual coordination story in the spirit of a suit.


L to R: Salvatore Ferragamo, Kenzo, YSL


Texture and Print
Whether on a woven or on a knit, wool or even nylon these designers used technology, artistry and clever craftsmanship to create the sweater as that cool focal piece.  



L to R: Paul Smith, Burberry Prorsum, Alexander Wang

L to R: Duckie Brown, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood


L to R: JW Anderson, Kenzo, Dries Van Noten


 Details
Some are subtle, so if you don't pay attention you'll miss them.  Some are in your face and dares you to miss them.  Others you just won't get until you own them.  They are the details such as Raf's engineered wider neckline, Tisci for Givenchy's linear harmony or Nichanian's subtle shoulder at Hermes. 



L to R: Givenchy, Raf Simons, Hermes


L to R: YSL, Rad by Rad Hourani, Raf Simons


Patrik Ervell




*Photos courtesy of Style.com 




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