As I've mentioned earlier I did not catch up most of the S/S10 menswear shows / presentations because I was caught in the busyness of graduating, packing my stuff to bring home (surprisingly and embarrassingly my VOGUE magazines weighed more than my textbooks) and being the tourist guide for my family while in Russia really took its toll on me.
Well much apologies for that... Now that I have much more free time to do some surfing, my attention was shifted to an interesting article by Anna Battista from Dazed Digital about the designer Umit Benan. When asked about what he can sum up about his S/S10 collection, he answered 'tacky yet modern', with the tackiness referring to his own imaginary Cuba as an inspiration for the silhouettes, fabrics and styling. Personally I like the fact that he uses a lot of linen and jersey for that Cuban reference. Oh, and the model is accessorized with Panama hats, cigars and bar stools too, no less. And a little dose of gender-bender doesn't seem to hurt at all- he uses feminine details such as ruffles and draping on his shirts to create interesting contrast against the masculine feel in the rest of the pieces.
I say spot on with the styling, sir. May I selfishly declare that I can closely relate this collection to that of my current taste in clothing - roomy pants combined with cardigans and loafers. And I immediately recalled that I personally own some very similar pants in terms of silhouette and fabric which I have featured previously (pants no.1 and 2, see below). It amazes me how a designer can really create a collection that is highly coveted because prior to the discovery of Umit Benan I've always felt lukewarm about most of menswear collection, in a sense that I don't really feel a rush to get my mitts on their pieces (except for Yohji Yamamoto AW09). But the opposite goes to Benan's collection... If, and I said if I had all the money in the world I'd certainly purchase this whole collection in a heartbeat!
In the interview he also told about his previous collection and the accompanying anecdote about how he is looked down at, questioned and misunderstood as a trespasser in his own apartment compound by the neighbors just because he is not clean-shaved and doesn't wear three-piece suit. This proves how looks can be deceiving and people often judge a person from their appearance! (An issue of which I again selfishly declare to be so close to me in real life)...To prove that people can be wrong in the above-mentioned case, he deliberately puts photos of him unshaven from day one to day 77 here for people to see, analyze and contemplate the transformation of a man's face and the effect on his personality and the perception by others. And yes you've guessed it right- despite his ever-changing outer appearance, he still remains the same person inside.
A/W 09-10 'Day 77' Collection
Thank you Umit Benan for such a fresh collection that I really can relate to and that dose of provocation!
image credit: dazeddigital.com