Tribal Chic: ethnic clothing for men

For this autumn winter 2012/2013 a lot of fashion designers were inspired by extra-European costumes and cultures trying to make them wearable according to the old-country’s style. Not only accessories and masks, but many colors, decorations and make-up, mixed in ironic or casual outfits, ready for the editorials of the major fashion magazines.

For this season we can consider Walter Van Beirendonck as the first who had approached the ethnic style, transforming the classic British tailoring in a pop-ethnic-art work, printing tribal symbols and drawings from the ritual body paintings. It seems to see two overlapping photos: a ritual face make up on an English gentleman. The final effect is both risky and fascinating.

The creative duo of Frankie Morello has proposed clothes and accessories inspired by Native Americans as the shoes derived from moccasins; the classic wool cardigans and suits embroidered with Navajo applications; or the ethnic jewelery ispired by the “music-talismans” used in the rites.

The minimalist Damir Doma declined the exotic beauty of Asia and Africa on long dresses and comfortable silhouettes emphasizing it using layers of wool with geometric patterns, typical Mongolian fur vests and finally a simple wooden necklace.

Speaking of styles and looks inspired by imaginary intercontinental travels, we must not fossilize in considering exclusively the ethnic look. We can see also the Corneliani collection, where the African wildlife is re-proposed in the use of colors; on the leather jackets; in the coat linings; or in the embroidered knitted sweaters with elephants, tigers and lions. Finally the ironic white shirt by the emerging fashion designer Andrea Pompilio with a giant monkey. It has already become a must have among fashion people, it’s the new cult for male fashion editorials.

 Alessandro Masetti
So Vain Menswear journalist

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