Friday, 23 July 2010
A very relaxed Petar Petrov
I have two more designers left to blog about from Paris Fashion Week (I know, I know...), their photos burning a proverbial hole in my laptop hard drive. I have a particular affection for the Bulgarian designer Petar Petrov because he studied, and is still based, in Vienna. I myself am, through a strange twist of fate, the Vizepräsident of the university's Austrian society (remember when I had dinner with the Austrian ambassador?) and so I feel some sort of instant emotional connection with all things Mitteleuropa. Anyway, the designer's collections for men are made up of modern, wearable sportswear. There is nothing overtly avant-garde here. No garish colours or unusual shapes for me to rave about. But under the intense heat of the sun glaring high above the espace commines in Paris last month, Petar brought us a breath of fresh air. Into the bright and very white open showspace marched a series of young gents grinning until their teeth fell out (which made a nice, if slightly creepy, change from the usual bored and melancholic look the models have perfected so very well).
I guess in one photo below you can sum up the feel of the whole collection; it was informal, relaxed, almost beach wear. A couple of dark slimline suits were quickly replaced by straight-legged trousers worn with slouchy tops and jackets in a palette of dusky tans, pale blues, navy and the odd hit of burnt red for punctuation.
Petar had clearly taken the simple idea of a real man's summer wardrobe and used it to create a collection that glowed with a joyful simplicity. Talk about the new minimalism - is Petar Petrov the Phoebe Philo of the menswear world? Perhaps, although here the simplicity is combined with a childlike insouciance - the shoulders slightly rounded, the fabrics crushable. This is not a minimalism of strict lines and leather tees. In terms of fashion week 'trends' (eeew), there were definitely more of the short shorts on offer:
And the short-i-ness was also applied to the upper body, with a series of cropped jackets that I loved. These feel very 90s to me, and so clearly totally now in terms of my current tastes. That other great brand which focuses on an edited, minimal look, Calvin Klein, also showed a series of croptops for SS11 which I have my eyes on...
If you are concerned that there is only beachwear here, don't worry - there were also a good number of suits for work and play, all of which incorporated the relaxed, happy attitude either through fit, colour or fabric. I particularly like the final red suit with a drawstring - I can just see myself slipping from dinner to club somewhere in the south of France in this (that is, if I lived on the riviera or had enough money/time at the moment to go on holiday...).
Smiley happy faces,