Fashion — 18 January 2011

By Odeisel

The John Varvatos Fall/Winter 2011/2012 collection debuted in Milan this week and Planet Ill was lucky enough to get coverage. The line had a True Grit feel with definite Old Western influences. There are sharp, rustic tailored lines melded with a loose fitting urban aesthetic: shirts meant to be untucked, collars featuring ties over unbuttoned necks. Material-wise there is warm, cozy wool and alpaca sweaters and cardigans, body-hugging leather vests, shearling overcoats and even a bit of felt lining.

In his own words, Varvatos declares, “The men I have in mind are intrigued by the past, but don’t let nostalgia trap them into an anachronistic dream: they are resolutely connected with the present.”

The fits were meant to be close but not form fitting. Certainly not baggy but free enough for comfortable movement. The line is mannish and adult but well short of old and stodgy; the perfect middle ground for masculine fashion.

The outerwear portion of the line was sharp and tailored, with breathable fabrics and slim lines, with high lapels on both the double and single breasted cuts. There are sleeveless overcoats and vests in the line-up that add a sophisticated feel to some of the rugged finishes. There are dense elements to the outerwear that will certainly protect from the elements and layers that fit well together.

The trousers are very straight but with more room than we’ve seen in the recent rounds of fashion. On those super cold and snowy days, there is ample room for undergarments to keep you warm. There is more room higher up and the lines taper without getting too close towards the bottom.

The shirts return to that Western look with rugged tails meant to be seen and not tucked in, big collars up top and rich textured patterns that create contrast against those tight trouser lines. They aren’t too rough around the edges. Just man enough for that five o’clock shadow look.

Earth tones and natural colors control the visual portion with different shades of brown, wine colored reds and brushed, rusty, muted burnt sienna flavoring an array for different greys. Of course with such a masculine line, black is a necessary component.

Aside from the clothing and knit elements, Varvatos also caters to the modern man with an array of accessories that includes scarves that end in leather tassels, multipurpose sashes that can function as both scarves and neckties. There are bold muscular boots with thick soles, a slew of leather traveling articles and even driving gloves. It’s a line built for a man on the go.

The John Varvatos Fall/Winter 2011/2012 line is a line for real men with a sense of style that lacks frailty and subtlety. Its high fashion that contains elements of rugged, Old Western sensibility that recalls a time when men spoke little and acted big. You could wear these clothe out and floss without being a peacock. True Grit, minus the bullets and the booze. Well done.

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