Every piece in the spring/summer 2012 menswear collection was stripped down to the cool and classic essence of Armani. Relaxed cuts included deconstructed jackets in liquid silks, light-as-a-cloud creamy knitwear that shaded to gray down the torso and pleat-front pants that tapered slightly to an ankle cuff.
The overall “wrinkles are welcome” attitude of the blue- and gray-dominated collection surely will make it simple to pack for next year’s summer vacation. Some even were printed onto the cloth in a faux froissé, or crumpled, effect. The addition of vests in diagonal stripes kept the outfits from floating away and helped this collection give a breath of fresh air to the Emporio line.
This season the designer Ennio Capasa used the three T’s — technology, tailoring and tape — to craft a rockabilly collection for Costume National that looked modern and fresh.
Inspired by early rock ’n’ roll, the designer still controlled the retro referencing so it didn’t overpower the well-executed collection. Always fascinated by technology, Mr. Capasa used a new tape to bond jacket seams and a laser ultrasound technique to merge fabrics, creating lighter-weight clothing.
The appeal was in the way the designer mixed the casual with the sophisticated. A ’50s-style microchecked short-sleeve top came finished with black tuxedo lapels while a sleeveless long leather vest, with striking white leather edging for contrast, was matched with a classic pair of trousers.
For a summer collection, the color palette remained quite cold, with city colors like cement gray and asphalt black highlighted with a bit of stop sign red. This choice allowed the judicious use of graphic check patterns and gave the featherlight fabric a chance to shine.
John Varvatos has always been inspired by the world of rock ’n’ roll so, using the 1970s styles of groups like Led Zeppelin and the Who, the designer created long and lean looks that had a nonchalance and elegance about them.
The use of light layering, which had voluminous cotton poet shirts pouring out of fitted military-style vests and jackets, and embellishments like handpainted roses on blazers or lacing woven into the edge of a jacket created an overall effect of a man totally at ease with his feminine side.
And if the collection felt a bit repetitive, the designer could be forgiven, because — as anyone who has felt the effect will say — once you are under the spell of a rock star, it is very hard to break free.