25 July 2010

Unexpected Details

Nicole Farhi
Fall 2010

If womenswear is about drama and the reveal, then menswear is about subtlety and the details. A sweeping generalization to be sure, yet it is certainly the case in many respects. On the one hand is a stunning couture gown, cut close to the body, with embellishments and features to highlight the natural beauty of the wearer. On the other is the fine cut suit, conservative and restrained, however with careful details that make it stand apart. Whether that detail be an unexpected interior lining, or contrast stitching around the cuff buttons of the jacket, it is the small things that make a nice garment all the more interesting and beautiful.

Creating a statement does not always require a bright jumpsuit and colourful brogues (although that certainly would be a fascinating direction to take), rather it can often be a case of simply tweaking elements in even the most standard of looks. Take for example blue jeans and a white t-shirt - add a colourful woven belt, roll the jeans up and put on a pair of red suede derbies, and the look is transformed. I think that is what I find so exciting about the experience of wearing clothes, the potential to create something unique to the moment.

Adding the unexpected twist here or there is a way to express individuality. Garments which have those unexpected twists or details are always interesting. It is not simply the careful thought put into their design, but the experience for the wearer in putting on that garment. And also the potential to create an exciting look from that already exciting garment.

I loved this look. The woolly collar, the thick purple sweater, the floral pattern shirt, the cuffed jeans, and the delightfully thick socks. Indeed the chunky socks that featured throughout the collection really did stand out for me. Then again, I do have rather the penchant for interesting socks.

I found this jacket, with the cable knit sleeves, quite fascinating. Note the consistency of the fabric between torso and sleeve. It is not so much a jacket with cable knit sleeves attached, but rather a jacket with a change in texture. The sleeves do indeed contrast from the torso however it relies not on a change in colour or fabric, as would be the expected route, but rather on a change in texture. Clothing is a sensory experience, and coming from that direction alone, the jacket is an interesting piece to behold.

I personally find the styling with the cowl neck sweater beneath somewhat uneasy, as the look is far too neck-heavy, with the jacket sitting against it uneasily. However I appreciate the choice in highlighting the sleeves of the jacket, playing the cable knit against an actual knitted garment. I feel the sweater could work equally well against faded jeans and the same brown boots for a more rugged look. Of course that would go against the styling of the lookbook as a whole, however it certainly highlights the versatility of the collection.

I absolutely love this reversible jacket. A thick herringbone wool mixed with a navy diamond quilting creates quite the juxtaposition, and yet the combination is one that is inherently evocative of the country gentleman. Indeed the styling with the feathered brooch on the lapel creates the idea of the refined hunter shooting game birds.

Reversible jackets have always interested me when executed well, as not only are they essentially two garments in one, however the combination of sides is interesting to behold. Here the one side is the wool herringbone, whilst the other is the quilting with herringbone trim. The combination really is one of outdoors practicality.

I also particularly enjoyed the styling with the knitted tie and contrasting leather gloves. Knitted ties always make me think of Autumn (although I wear them without any real seasonal ruling). They are less formal than a plain silk and indeed can be worn on shirts that are that little more casual in appearance. One would look odd wearing a plain silk tie on a worn denim shirt, and yet in the same instance, a woven tie would not look especially out of place.

A series of elegant country-inspired looks, it was the attention to detail in certain garments that really made the collection for me. The evidence of careful thought behind any creative process is always interesting to me, and here it is what I enjoyed about the clothing.

Currently playing: It's Personal - The Radio Dept.



  1. oh, I thought at first this was Russell Brand..I wonder who inspires who..in this. I looked at his new book at Borders last night. Interesting.

    You gotta get a cap like that.

  2. There is just something prom like in some of the pics.

    Very manly, the last one.

  3. Some interesting use of textures here.

  4. I was thinking Russell Brand too..huh???hehehee..

  5. Really, a handsome collection.

  6. Nicole Farhi is genius. Love them all...especially the soft details...