Colour Master: The Scottish-born designer previewed in Milan his new menswear collection.
Text by Anna Battista
Jonathan Saunders’ Spring/Summer 2012 womenswear collection was inspired by the sunny pastels of Miami’s glamorous Art Deco District, and, for his Autumn/Winter 2012-13 menswear collection, he decided to remain in a somewhat architectural/interior design mood and mix it with art and fashion references.
The Scottish-born designer who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999 with a BA in Printed Textiles and then moved on to Central Saint Martin’s where he specialised in the same subject with an MA, presented for the first time his menswear collection (his second one) in Milan.
The slim silhouettes of his designs and in particular of his jacquard suits characterised by a fuzzy and blurry “Missoni on acid” zigzagging motif, double-breasted jackets and single-breasted blazers with short lapels had a retro touch about them and moved from the ‘60s, calling back to mind the music icons of those times and the designs sold at John Stephen”s, the “leisure-wear king of Carnaby Street”.
Yet the soft palette seemed to be borrowed from postmodernist pieces of furniture such as Peter Shire’s for Memphis Milano with a touch of the main nuances of David Hockney”s paintings “Three Chairs with a Section of a Picasso Mural” and “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)”.
Saunders” cream, pink and burgundy jumpers echoed the colours of Shire”s “Bel Air” chair, even though the main principle behind the collection – mixing classic and modern pieces – seemed borrowed from the mix of architectures in Charles Moore’s Piazza d’Italia with its Roman columns, stainless steel and neon lights, bending modern-day materials with historical references. Quilted bombers subtly referenced fencing uniforms, shirts came with visually rich and strong graphic prints and patterns, though the designer excelled in the knits.
Yarns included angora and rayon, the latter creating exuberant yet controlled reflective and at times almost prismatic effects on jumpers, while experimental 3D rippled or dense wave-like motifs formed interesting textures giving movement to surfaces.
As a whole this was a well-thought collection that, balancing tradition and modernity, included quite a few pieces that may result desirable also to all those Jonathan Saunders” female fans who favour androgynous styles.
Images by Gabriele Semeraro