Umit Benan Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Milan
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Umit Benan took the fashion crowd to the wrong side of town with his latest menswear show. He recreated a back alley in a big city and filled it with everything from a scruffy homeless man and even scruffier streetwalkers, to an abandoned car and a busy hotdog vendor. But besides the first two models, who scurried by in eveningwear, this was a collection of clothing made for hoodlums who call these seedy streets there home.

At least that’s what it seemed like at first blush when the models took to the trash-covered runway wearing face effacing cagoules and brandishing cans of spray pant. Most of the clothing was cut in the loose and sporty fashion often associated with skater style, but the odd sleazy businessman was thrown in for good measure. However, there was no concealing the quality of the fabrics Benan used to craft his silk bomber jackets and coats cut with sleeves in contrasting fabrics or the impact of his graphic printed tracksuits and baggy chenille sweaters.

While the models took to tagging the background wall, the audience was able to get a longer look at the construction of an oversized parka and appreciate the complication of a coat that used a tone on tone fabric in different lengths of yarn in an  intriguing patchwork effect.  And when the final model scrawled the words “nothing is as it seems” and then revealed himself to be the designer, the message went deeper than his own unveiling. It was a reflection on how we all judge people by what they wear and sometimes first impressions are not the right ones. In any case, when it comes to this collection, it defiantly deserves a second look.

- Jessica Michault
 

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