The Gruffalo vs The Aesthete
Two men. One a beefy, muscular, half naked, tanned Grecian warrior. The other a pale, slender limbed, elven type aesthete, who likes ballet. These were the two extremes of masculinity on show this season and there were several collections which fell very clearly into one or other of these two camps, (no pun intended).
1. The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo was best illustrated by Marjan Petjovski at KTZ in London, who paraded a fantastical collection of overtly masculine warriors, inspired by the adventures of Alexander the Great. These armour clad warriors were dressed in lightweight kilts and togas, which had been printed with emblems and icons of Grecian armour which made for a very strong collection graphically. What made it even stronger was the colour palette which consisted of only black, white and orange.
There was also a more elegant warrior on display, with a clear reference to the Japanese Samurai, this time at Craig Green, who also used a very simple colour palette of black, white and pale blue, with each outfit presented in one monotone colour.
And finally there was a more cerebral warrior on display, but a warrior of the more spiritual kind, the priest or spiritual guide. All in black and either Amish looking, with tall stetson as at Off-White, or minimal and fight club inspired, like those by Alan Crocetti at Fashion East.
1. All Black
2. All White
3. Long priestly robes and smock like garments
4. Tall black felt, Stetson hats
5. Hi-Top Grecian sandals
2. The Aesthete
On the other side of the battle line was the Aesthete. There have been several shows this summer inspired by the Ballet, one of the strongest and purest in theme was that of Dries Van Noten, who’s inspiration came from Rudolf Nureyev and the Russian Ballet. His elegant dancers were dressed in scoop necked tops, feather light open neck shirts and tight ballet like pants, held up with fabric suspenders and finished with ballet pumps. Fabrics were fluid and sensual and like their aesthetic brothers, the Psychedelic festival goers of Paul Smith, they sported dressing gown coats of silk and satin and fluid garments cut to caress the body and drift with the slightest motion. The dark rich inky colours in violets and indigos helped increase the overall feeling of sensuality and grace. There was definitely a strong element of indulgence and introspection in these collections, but also one of celebration, especially those of Paul Smith who’s rainbow colours, tye-dye tee shirts and fun mix of print and pattern had an optimistic celebratory atmosphere.
1. Fluid silky fabrications
2. Rich inky colors
3. Open-neck shirts
4. Dressing gowns
5. Slouchy pants and sweaters
6. Soft fluid parkas and cagoules