17 May 2009

A Comfortable Elegance


Following Thursday's post on SOPOPULAR, I began thinking about military wear and the important impact it has had on mainstream fashion over the years. The creation of a casual military outfit for the layman has had a great cultural impact on our society, often reacting to contemporary events, especially the outbreak of war. Indeed the inspiration has served in looks from the pieces sported by the anti-Vietnam students of the '70s, to its revivial in fashion during the Gulf War.

Oddly however, the largest impact on the mainstream ideal of military inspired clothing, has in actuality been far removed from any political or indeed military connections. It is one of the testaments to fashion, that one can take a uniform signifying in its essence something strong and often violent, to a more unique and individual outfit simply displaying a sense of style. I began to think about the different ways in which a military inspiration can be applied, and was reminded of Costume National, specifically the Spring 2005 collection.

The collection did in actuality draw its initial inspirations from the youth of the 1970s who had taken militarywears and made it their own. However the beauty of the collection lay in the fact that Ennio Capasa was able to use those starting points to totally defy one's expectations of the traditional notions of casual military wear. The looks were in realisation far contrasted from the idea of casual wear, being rather quite formal and elegant in their realisation. Yet the collection also sought to evoke the idea of a free and comfortable youth, donning their casual tops, drop crotch trousers and slinging on their strings of beads and tiger teeth (well, actually pig teeth).

The elegance of the beautifully tailored and cut jackets were finely balanced to give a refined yet relaxed feel in their styling. Laying them upon the soft scoop necks and the fragility of the exposed clavicles and chests, allowed for a far more gentle look. This was oddly combined with the subtle yet powerful displays of strength provided by the necklaces sporting teeth. This decision helped to create a simultaneous sense of strength and vulnerability, a combination I was fascinated by in its execution. The balance between smart and casual, refinement and earthy charm was finely displayed within the collection.

The fitted trousers were displayed alongside the offerings of the jodhpur style pieces. These pieces had an inherent comfort and casual feel, and yet were given a far more formal finish in their tailoring and smart design. With their dropped crotch, and wonderful laced fronts, they provided a nice contrast against the jackets, and yet complimented them in their design, whilst also creating a sense of belonging for the casual tops and neckwear.

Indeed I enjoyed the contrast between the hyper-tailored jackets against the wonderfully relaxed trousers. One even notes the silk shantung employed for the final pair, which match in quality and standard that of the tailored tuxedo jacket, and are yet so vividly contrasted in their concept. There was a true mixing of designs and concept, and I feel that this was executed brilliantly with a precision of balance.

I also found myself instantly drawn towards the tailored one-piece of the zipped flight suit. Although the trend of jumpsuits in menswear is only gently being explored once again in current collections, one notes this beautiful example showcased almost five years ago. Indeed the fact that this collection could have been shown only this past season is one that I love, and truly stands in testament to the designs of Capasa. The fine balance of elegance and casual comfort allowed this collection to create the image of young freedom fighter, yet one far removed from the battlefield. He was an elegant and well travelled gentleman, more prone to the written word than the appeals of fighting.

Currently playing: Shadow On The Sun - Audioslave

xxxx

24 comments:

  1. damn. those guys are looking good.

    except maybe for that zippy jumpsuit. im not sure i can get into that look.

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  2. Leather pants are so hot on guys!

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  3. military wear is usually a little too tough for me, but these pieces have a softer feel to them

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  4. Wow, I like!! i have to disagree with sarah A.
    I really do like that jumpsuit!

    xx

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  5. oh. good looking guys! ;)

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  6. Fascinating post, so well written! I never thought I would like the jumpsuit for men, but I admit I am oddly drawn to it. However, the front rise on those olive pants is not working for me at all.

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  7. like you i am adoring the contrast between the structured jackets an d the relaxed pants.It is perfection!
    muah x
    marian

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  8. I love the military look with a soft twist too...I love the last part about a well traveled gentleman-thats beautiful!

    xoxo

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  9. handsome, really handsome!!!!

    and thank you, your comment made me feel good :)

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  10. yes, they are so good-lookin'! I love the jackets ^^

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  11. I like the military inspiration (stucture) with the comfortable pants (descontruct)(?).

    And so well written.

    xoxo

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  12. interesting
    it's nice to read the ideas of others

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  13. just found this blog and think it's grrrrrreat (like the tiger says it)

    and if you like writing on rubber with biro then you should try writing on a banana with a biro(while it still has its skin on and you can still eat it after you peel it)

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  14. I always love reading your blog because of your impeccable taste in men's fashion.

    the military trend is always okay in my book. =)

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  15. TAilored, shorter jackets? Divine!

    Not as big of a fan of the low crotch---but the clothes are impeccably done....

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  16. the outfits in this post are amazing! (and the boys don't look too bad, themselves)

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  17. I'm glad you are explaining thos pieces to me..very unique pants.

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  18. Something oddly not military about those shirts though. I like the pants and jackets best.

    Hope you are having a good weekend.

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  19. I've never done much with military wear. I do have some friends that wear it quite often. They look great in it. I enjoyed your post. It was wonderful as usual. Great photos. I hope you had a nice weekend.

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  20. those guys so fab., really amazing. i want u steal it for me coz i love using man clothes.. =p kidding hoho

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  21. Thanks for your comments :).
    I'm not a fan of those pants, though, but the coats and jackets are keen...

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  22. This is from 2005? It seems so current. I adore those flight suits.

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