11 January 2016 // Puck Gall //Amsterdam
So this week Fall 2016 Menswear started in London. It always gets me exited especially about certain designers like Umit Benan. German born but raised in Turkey Umit is a fashion designer that has a very personal and in my opinion strong approach to menswear. He is a real story teller and always surprises me with his collections.
The first collection I saw of him was his Spring collection 2013. The collection is called: ‘Once I loved a woman who loved menswear’. It refers to a previous relationship, he talks about the strength of a woman who likes to dress in men’s clothes. The décor of his show was telling this story very well. In a row of beds couples were waking up as the women looked at the men dressing themselves before they walked down the catwalk. The clothes looked so comfortable yet cool. All pieces every woman and men should want to wear. Beautifully tailored and within such a nice color pallet. After seeing this show I was hooked.
I admire how he plays with the boundaries of clothing in his own way. His models are always very divers, young and old, various ethic backgrounds but also in size his models can vary, it makes the clothes really come to life. He plays around with work wear and suits, always so well tailored. Every collection he takes a certain stereotype and twists is in his own personal direction. Like the fishermen from Istanbul, retired rockers or the African-American sports heroes.
Next to the clothing I also get super exited about the show itself. As I said Umit is a storyteller and that reflects in the way he presents his collections. He has quite a theatrical approach making his catwalks look like great movie sets. He uses the shows as a tool to express his stories. In an army collection he put bunk beds with his “soldiers” on stage and his last collection called: ‘Comandante’ he showed in a big Peruvian restaurant in the outskirts of Paris.
‘Comandante’ was based around the South American revolution leaded by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. He imagined them celebrating their victory, partying in Cuba smoking cigars. That means blue army jackets, big belts and pajama-like pants. The clothes breathe cool and make the men look like the right kind of bad guys. As his brand grows so does he and you can see it in this collection. There is much more freedom in the clothes, the colors are vivid and the fit is sharp yet comfortable. He masters the art of balancing fantasy and wearability. Pushing menswear forward without loosing the real men along the way. I can’t wait what he will bring us this time around.
I could not pick one collection I liked most so the photos below are from various seasons. Enjoy!