Maybe it’s those drab gray tones, boorish fabrics, and pedestrian cuts that have men running away from wearing suits. Today’s man understands that the suit has existed too long as a uniform for the business class. But he can’t escape the historical relevance of proper tailoring, the clean feel of a great fit, the power of strong lines, nor the evolution that’s taken place since doublet, breeches and hose were gradually replaced by coat, vest and trousers. Thankfully, there’s a new generation of men’s haberdashers who relate to that elusive need for business suits that maintain a decorum of personal identity. Smith Williams in San Francisco achieves this feel via a reliable combination of fine Italian fabrics with classic British cuts. Western influence and details such as subtle asymmetry help define the style. For NYC’s Ron & Ron, texture combination utilizing wools, cottons, and fine gauge knits in bold colors are used to produce a thoroughly contemporary look. If you’re more interested in blazers, Duckie Brown offer takes with an expansive color palette. S/S04 shows lime green, yellow, red, and pink in a cricket inspired collection. Obedient Sons takes utilitarian urban wear to its most accessible with subtle deconstruction details and overt political overtones. And on the international stage look for Oswald Boateng to introduce bespoke rock ‘n roll suits at Givenchy where he’s recently been appointed creative director of menswear. His own label’s irreverent suit signature is shocking color lining meets sharp elegant tailoring.
- Michael Cohen
Photo: Duckie Brown spring 2004 cricket collection