Tuesday, January 12, 2010

surprise! it's H and M's spring 2010 men's collection

by frédérik sisa

It’s not often a mainstream store prompts something more than a raised eyebrow but, as they say, an optimist can never be pleasantly surprised. Enter H&M’s – I have to use the word – fabulous spring men’s collection. Hypebeast has a number of images for you to study, but these are the ensembles and pieces that stand out for me.
I don’t care much for the rolled-up pants in combination with the pointed anklet boots, shirt rolled up to three-quarters and the t-shirt sleeve length sweater. As a whole, it looks like wearing clothes that shrank in the wash. However, the layered look of the sweater and shirt works wonderfully well; it would look quite dashing with full-length pants.
Another great example of layering, this ensemble rocks thanks to the blazer’s black piping and not one but two very different layers. Slim fitting pants and chic shoes that are content with subtly completing the outfit translates to a casual yet refined look.
The bold red colour of the jacket contrasted with an earthy pair of pants takes a refined casual style and pops it. The hat and scarf are just the sort of accessories to add both a touch of formality and a touch of relaxed luxury – that scarf is quite simply gorgeous. And the sandals? Works for me. I know there’s a general taboo in formal circles against men wearing sandals, especially with this kind of more-than-casual ensemble, but it’s a subversive, stylish touch and entirely practical given the warming weather.

The humble grey suit. Classical. Universal. And spiked with a colourful shirt, and pop by an explosion of colour in the form of a loose, breezy scarf that waits for a wind to achieve a theatrical effect. (I can picture this ensemble with a lovely piece from LOOMLAB, yes?) Sandals remind us that spring is in the air. An elegant look.

Accessories are kept to a minimum is this understated ensemble, which is powerful without being overpowering. I’m not sold on brown as the colour of choice for the shoes and hat, and the peach shirt is definitely not my colour, but the subtly patterned pants have an edge and the smooth cut of the blazer offers a relaxed look. Overall, the contrast between the vivid colour of the shirt and the dark canvas of the blazer and pant combination gives this ensemble considerable panache.

Since blazers seem to be the collection’s dominant piece, here’s a dapper piece. I’m quite taken by the geometrical use of shading to create the impression of panels. And the two-tone effect? It’s not just for Two-Face anymore.

The real surprise in the collection, however, is this:

That’s right, a skirt. With large pleats. For men. Paired with that humble grey blazer, the ensemble works remarkably well and yes, I dig the rebellious chicness of it. The question is, will avant-garde men embrace it? Could this be the start of a new trend? Or will these skirts die a horrible death, unwanted even by the homeless whom H&M is supposed to give unwanted clothes to? Whatever the skirt's eventual fate, I'm persuaded to make a trip to a local H&M's to see all these pieces for myself. Field trip, yeah.

So what do you think? Yay? Nay?

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