A Graphic Cosmos: Menswear Print Trends Spring Summer 2014

The modern man’s wardrobe can be a staid place, with block colors, simple shapes and silhouettes dominating. But today, as menswear becomes more experimental, we see a greater freedom and a new dynamic emerging from designers’ hands to reconfigure this paradigm.

In Spring Summer 2014, one of the approaches to achieve this radical transformation is progressive and exciting print work. Designers collectively look to the rich world of art motifs, from the figurative, to the abstract. Art and graphic movements are dissected and reworked into an evolved men’s fashion world. Each designer has their own perspective on the process, their own unique vision of how to combine the graphic world with their signature garment design.

Humberto Leon at Kenzo focuses on hand drawn, hand painted illustrative elements of waves, referencing their gentle yet broad graphic movements that communicate his particular vision of Californian surf culture. Yusuke Takahashi, creative director at Issey Miyake Men’s, uses oversized tie-dye techniques to reflect his interest in notions of global travel and cultural movement. Dirk Bikkembergs’ rich, hand-painted floral prints on blazers achieve a powerful graphic finish. While Dries Van Noten, whose designs often incorporate distinctive use of print, similarly uses flowers on his upper body wear and shirting to arresting, graphic effect.

Elsewhere Veronique Nichanian, artistic director at Hermes Menswear, envisions subtle monogram prints on shirting beneath blazers. These subtle yet powerful prints break up the solidity of the man’s body. The visual effect also subverts the formal nature of the garments to create softer sportier looks for the hot summer to come. Calvin Klein Menswear designer Italo Zuchelli uses an archetypal men’s graphic print; the stripe, in pristine sky blue, and translates it to pants and jackets in a variety of ways. The effect is to effortlessly inject feelings of summer and bright beaches, into his classic garments.
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