Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Necklines For Dudes // A Contemporary Perspective

The men’s shows this season included several timely interpretations of the male neckline. Demure or inventive, the skin is a dynamic place for designers to experiment especially via the male.

Calvin Klein like many others did not stray too far from familiar territory, but who doesn’t love a class crew or V-neck.

Jil Sander promoted hints of skin and layering in a polished and snug way that continues the line’s ideal of the small-boned customer.

Victor and Rolf riffed on gondolier stripes with some scoop; clavicles are in.

Burberry is a forever classic and now cool so I love a reinterpretation of a muscle shirt that reaches below the pectoral. Plus a cardigan sweater looks cute when it dips low.

In terms of inventiveness, Givenchy is a great place to start. In addition to the expected roster of nice suits and casual wear were a bevy of crazy street looks. The transparency makes me think of Prada’s lace look for women, yet sheerness is a clever idea for the stronger of heart. Givenchy also promoted sleeveless but high-necked looks. The best look was a muscle shirt, with gold circular studs hammered into the fabric, with a similarly patterned scarf up almost to the chin. Again the concept was not new – think Coco in Balenciaga a few years ago – but now it looks great on guys.

Prada defies explanation with the level of intellectual cutting and styling involved. Straps and open coats, romantic draping and skin, sweetheart necklines and a butch palette; Prada was about contrasts and that’s what we love.

Overall the best show for a new approach to the neck without turning the wrong kind of heads was Raf Simons. A fascinating designer for years, this time Raf rethought the tuxedo by cutting it close to the skin and dropping the top down before going sans tie or other accouterments. Cutting was also important around the leg and neck. It was all new, angular, a bit sexy, and completely wearable.

So for Spring let those chest bones show.

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