Monday, 13 January 2014

Nicole Farhi Autumn/Winter 2014 Menswear

The last few months haven’t been easy for the fashion brand Nicole Farhi. After threats of administration and rescue deals, the label has managed to stay afloat but not without difficulties in sustaining a positive reputation. If anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, Nicole Farhi is one of those labels that male consumers tend to love to hate, with an overall perception by many that the price point of its products is far too elevated for something which is no longer regarded as exclusive.

However, as it faced contradictory consumer responses and financial uncertainty, Nicole Farhi managed to produce one of its most accomplished menswear collection in years with its Autumn/Winter 2014 offering. Exploring the overused sartorial trope of casual wear, creative director Joanna Sykes created an ingenious parody of such menswear staples by literally deconstructing the genre: notions of informality and comfort were pushed to extremes in elongated knitwear sleeves, wool track pants were made to look as lounger garments, and abundant patchwork effects were introduced as a wink to clichés of bohemian style in fashion.

If the first perception of Nicole Farhi’s Autumn/Winter 2014 menswear collection was one of careless slovenly clothing, the underpinning concept was anything but: silhouettes were purposefully eased by playing with proportion and the choice of materials was carefully orchestrated with an emphasis on noble organic fabrics from English mills including wool flannels, shearling, twill jersey, bouclĂ© granite tweed, and cashmere. In addition, a sombre colour palette of caramel, charcoal, navy, khaki, and duck egg blue was masterfully painted by Sykes to anchor the relaxed conceptual effect with the utmost effectiveness.

Photographs courtesy of Nicole Farhi

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