No pain and a lot to gain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am

Comfort and ease may not spring to mind when one thinks of fashion.

With Karl Lagerfeld losing roughly 42kg to fit into skinny jeans by Hedi Slimane in 2001, and hordes of women nipping and tucking into corsets while teetering on stiletto heels, is it possible to dress to impress without feeling starved, squeezed and tortured? Apparently so.

This season, a range of ready-to-wear lines emphasise ease, comfort and sense of adventure for the modern man. A/X Armani Exchange is all about a natural and chic wardrobe that encourages functionality, fluidity and ease of movement.

The new spring collection makes four key statements: 'The Big Easy' offers tailoring with a soft, relaxed twist, 'Dello Sport' features classic pieces with athletic details and geometric prints, 'Neo-Classic' is a blend of simplicity and refinement, and 'Vers-utility' channels the fun of travel and leisure in lively prints and loose-fit pants.

Diesel, meanwhile, returns to its workwear roots with a utilitarian-themed collection. 'Welcome to Worksville' celebrates the leisure of hard labour, combining tough functionality with dressy looks in a range of uniform-inspired outerwear fused with formalwear details, such as double-breasted lapels.

The 'bleached out' style gives the effect of once-dirty garments that have since been cleaned.

The colour palette of light ecru, blue and pastel is complemented by indigo, blue-and-white stripes and Prince of Wales check fabrics. Accessories include a new leather bag line made in cow nubuck with a vintage treatment.

DKNY takes its inspiration from the ease and style of movie icons with an urban palette of blues, city greys, and graphic blacks and whites with shots of red and pink.

Lightweight fabrics are textured and treated for city life, crafted into items such as a modern city jacket, slim-fit and unstructured blazers, classic Oxford button-down shirts and chinos that go from day to dinner. The collection boasts a range of versatile layering pieces suitable for all seasons for effortlessly cool New York City style.

Paying tribute to the man on the go, 'The Great Escape' by Boss Black balances timeless classics with luxurious style. Linen suits and wool-blend two-button jackets feature light and airy silhouettes. Other highlights of the collection include cool cotton chinos, fine knitwear, relaxed denim shirts and a three-button, single-breasted suit in khaki paired with a slim-cut shirt in moonlight blue.

The look is completed with calfskin lace-up shoes and a matching weekender bag for a practical yet refined wardrobe for globetrotters.

Tommy Hilfiger's latest collection features pop-inspired colours and vibrant patterns in slim and structured preppy silhouettes. Key outerwear pieces such as the classic red leather jacket, featherweight anoraks and leather-sleeved varsity jackets match with nautical-striped polos and colour-blocked knits.

Boss Orange goes a bit further back in time, delving into 1970s hippie culture - with a tinge of Indian influence - for an eclectic collection of strong colours, rich materials and detailed use of embroidery.

Highlights of the outerwear selection include a double-dyed cotton-nylon field jacket, a waxed-cotton double-breasted jacket, hybrid parka-duffle coat and hand-treated leather biker jacket.

The relaxed style extends to materials such as jersey-soft denim.


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