Does menswear really need yet another luxury label? It does if it can offer something different that caters to wealthy men by making their lives easier, increasing comfort and looking smart while not being too difficult or ‘fashiony’ to wear. So, no challenge there then?!
Left - Helbers AW16 Luxury menswear staples with sports detailing and modern fabric mixes
Many traditional luxury menswear brands have fallen into that trap of trying to draw attention to themselves, the brand and the product and it risks alienating its core group and those who can really afford it. Just look at the new Brioni or Zegna’s, now, defunct Couture line. They are all chasing the same customers and these men are picky and know exactly what they want.
Well, I’m introducing, Helbers, a new label of luxury menswear staples from Dutch designer, Paul Helbers. When I first saw this, in the Spring, it was the attention to detail and quality which you could instantly see, and that was just the branded hangers!
You may have heard of Helbers before from his time in charge of Louis Vuitton’s men’s under Marc Jacobs from 2006 to 2011. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, he has also worked at Maison Margiela.
AW16 is his first collection and I would describe it as Jil Sander meets Neil Barrett. Made in Italy, mostly near Venice, it is a small selection of classic and pure menswear pieces with athletic elements and fabric mixes. It is pricey, but I think this is a brand designed to complement the wearer rather than dominate.
Milan is home to many of fashion's megabrands. This powerhouse is full of the commercial sex appeal we've come to expect from the home of Italian fashion. TheChicGeek casts his expert eye over the details and trends worth coveting:
It could have something to do with the recent MET exhibition in New York, or simply the cycle of Chinese influence is coming around for another season, but look out for Mao collars and delicate Chinese decoration in relaxed, voluminous shapes.
From Left - Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana
Step straight out of bed, or straight in, depending on timings, with the new dressing gown type coats and pyjama shirts.
Below - Both - Bally
No, you're not seeing things. Colour and pattern are stylishly distorted to make the wearer standout while confusingly blending in.
From Left - Salvatore Ferragamo, Salvatore Ferragamo, MGSM
Call it ethnic or ASOS!, everything is untucked and in a longer length. Just be careful when wearing with shorts.
Below - Both - Versace
Comfort seems to be the key for technical fabrics today: a new ease of movement and travel focused.
From Left - Jil Sander, Prada
Shake that money maker! The money spinner for the majority of major fashion brands, it appears on the catwalk in recognition of the part it has played in creating these brands and the fashion landscape today.
From Left - Calvin Klein, Ports 1961, Calvin Klein, Ports 1961
Not so much Hitchcock as Attenborough with parrots to hummingbirds seen on the chests of menswear from Milan.
From Left - Gucci, Ports 1961, Dolce & Gabbana
I can see right through this trend which was first seen in London.
From Left - No.21, Gucci, Gucci
Just because - The new Gucci is slightly mental - good mental - in a Fight Club meets Peter Sellers kinda way. Love this dressing up box style.
Left - Gucci