Umit Benan Menswear Spring Summer 2013 Milan
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In just eight seasons designer Umit Benan has made a name for himself with his unique perspective on menswear and the unusual way he presents it to the world.  This season he didn’t disappoint with a collection that was inspired by his own past.  At least that is what you can infer from the title he gave the show, "I once loved a woman who loves menswear."

As always with Benan there has to be a story before there can be a collection. This time the catwalk mise-en-scène was a very intimate one. A series of beds, each one being warmed by a couple, opened the show. As the designer pointed the spotlight on the different duos  the state of their relationship came to light. From a full on fight to total disregard, the couples morning rituals revealed where they were in their relationship. So poignant and potent was the concept that the clothing the men slowly slug on was going to have to be substantial to distract the eye from what was going on in the background.

Thankfully it was.

The collection kept to the codes the house is building its name on.  The loose cut, decidedly masculine style Benan has reintroduced to menswear was never so clearly defined. Perhaps even more importantly they looked less referential than in past seasons where a particular era was sometimes so strongly imbued in the clothing that they could be mistaken for vintage pieces.  Not so with this show, where the wide leg, high waisted trousers, the broad shouldered slouchy jackets and the nonchalant trench coats in luxe fabrics where unquestionably those of Benan. The designer even reworked his label from a white on white logo to a thick black font designed to be spotted from a far.

As the designer took his bow, appearing from underneath a duvet wearing only his boxer shorts, he was not only baring his body, but also his soul, with this show.  It is one that the fashion world is going to enjoy getting to know in the years to come as this young designer continues to challenge the status quo.

-Jessica Michault

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