Men’s – Refinement. B+ Umit Benan AW22

Umit Benan, one of the best Milan-based menswear (and not only) designers, focuses on uncompromisingly manufactured and painstakingly designed ultra-luxe clothing. For the autumn-winter 2022 offering, modelled by the always-chic Vogue Hommes fashion editor, Giovanni Dario Laudicina, some of the finest pieces here included a workwear jacket in double cashmere (either in sunflower yellow or olive green) alongside same-fabric raglan overcoats; both were garments whose apparent simplicity, combined with the precious fabric, served to manifest rich sophistication. Stopping at a mustard/camel cashmere hoodie, Benan said: “at the end of day, I don’t want to mess too much with design. The emphasis is on great stuff, stuff that’s so great you want to come back and buy it again.” A loose-legged blue and white herringbone suit in silk/wool shown over another slouchy Bengal stripe underlayer was, in theory, a women’s look. It was also evidence of B+ Umit Benan’s ability to make clothes with a formal architecture appear almost slouchily deformalized. These are garments made for the niche of a niche in a niche – exclusive both in terms of price point and aesthetic. The ultimate investment pieces.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Tokyo Diaries. Umit Benan AW16

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It seems that Paris-based designers feel a strong sentiment to Japan. We know Julien David’s love to Japan, as all of his clothes are made there; for SS16, Olympia Le-Tan created a feminine collection which took its references from Nobuyoshi Araki’s bondage photography and Hotel Okura’s famous architecture legacy. The Japanese story is continued by Umit Benan with his “Tokyo Diaries” collection for men. When the guests arrived to the show, a group of eight men were about to start the “nyotaimori“, a practice known in Japan which is about eating sushi off a naked woman’s body. Benan’s inspirations came from Japan – but don’t expect kimonos or anything as predictable as that. The designer had  yakuza gangs on his mind – and you don’t want to mess up with these guys. The street-cast models and Umit’s friends walked the show in athletic tank-tops, judo jackets and corduroy coats with obi belts, while some had the typical, Japan-fashioned braids. The footwear changed dramatically, from sneakers to white tube socks with the toes cut out. The designer, known for his diverse collections, successfully withdrew the clichés of the Land of the Rising Sun and staged a wearable, badass collection.

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