Mar 12

STYLE: Top Gear and the Spring 2012 Collections for Men

*Insert British accent here*

Hello, Gentlemen.

It’s that time of year again, where the snow is turning to rain and the flowers are starting to bloom.  We’re ending the latest Top Gear season and along with the new car smell there is a new whiff of style in the air for all you savvy men (*sniff* such a magical time).

There are some of you who enjoy staying with what you consider to be your true style (your ‘niche’ of the clothing universe) and then there are some of you who are as indecisive as I am at the front of the Starbucks line.

Never fear, there’s something for everyone; Spring 2012 will be lined with all sorts of style options and I will be outlining my favorites below.

If I had any sense, I would have called up my boyfriend before writing this to ask him his style opinions (that is, until I suddenly flashed back to his camouflage ball-cap phase…) but when I opened up the word document, I concluded I was flying solo on this one.

Just so you know – I’m a traditionalist for menswear; growing up in London, my father always wore suits, as did every other man that I ever saw.  Even the boys I knew lived in their school uniforms, and in off-time men were still with their clean lines and semi-fitted splendor.

So guess what I’ll be lovin’ on for this article?

Phillip Lim

All bias aside, there’s something to be said for that magical world in-between conventional and crazy that Phillip Lim seems to be wandering around in.

His spring collection was mostly of a slightly oversized and ‘slung’ look; it reminded me of a scene where a teenager had just spent the day on his Minecraft server and realized he was out of Dr. Pepper, so he grabbed his elder brother’s clothes and ran out the house. In the best way possible, of course; I call it a sort of boyish charm.

3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2012 image from http://www.31philliplim.com/collections/mens-ss12-ready-to-wear.

The one thing, I’m afraid, I’m wagging my finger to Mr. Lim for is the shorts he has created (actually, not just him - in more than a fair number of the spring 2012 collections, there are some rather daring shorts making an appearance).

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone, of any gender, being proud of their bodies.  I’m sorry, gentlemen, but bottom line - you need the legs for it (and the wax job…and the heels…and the pedi…..oops, sorry).

Umit Benan

A young designer, he created his collection with inspiration from that well-loved decade, the 1980’s.

One can definitely see the influence here, (and more influence…oh the shorts) but there is a cheer to be had for the patterns.

Umit Benan Spring 2012. Image from http://www.umitbenan.com/.

A bold check, a polka dot, all sorts- this is when a lot of you charming bloke’s might shy away but please don’t.

A print says ‘fun’. And who doesn’t want to have fun?

Michael Bastian

Perhaps the unsung hero of the spring 2012 collections would have to be Michael Bastian.

He spent the last year away from the lights of the runway and instead in the trenches of the industry, clawing his way back into production; but he’s come out just beaming on the other side.

This collection was the epitome of ‘cool’ as the inspiration was the definition of the word itself; James Dean.

Michael Bastian. James Dean cool. Image from http://www.michaelbastiannyc.com/.

Admitting to keeping this collection in his ‘back pocket’ over the years, it’s a marvelous blend of the unique and the classical pieces that make this collection probably one of the most versatile on the runway this season.

No one can resist the rebel, even that glorious red windbreaker and the penny loafers (pennies included) to match. The denim, the jackets, the knits, and even the perfectly tailored pants were thrown together with such precision that it seemed almost flawless, and effortless.

So much of menswear on the runway is over-styled these days, and it was nothing short of a refreshing gulp to see ‘classic cool’ drift on down.

These pieces are so versatile, even my man would go for them (in exchange for a burning of the ball-cap, of course).

So although we are all sad this season of Top Gear is over and you most probably don’t own a Ferrari 458 or Lamborghini Murcielago, you can at least roll around in your mom’s car with my picks for the latest colors and styles for Spring 2012.

For more information about 3.1 Phillip Lim, you can check out http://www.31philliplim.com/collections.  For more information about Umit Benan, you can check out http://www.umitbenan.com/.  Finally, for Michael Bastian, you can check out http://www.michaelbastiannyc.com/.