Beach boys: Menswear gets into shape for the summer holidays

The traditional summer holiday may be a mere calendar page away, but that doesn’t mean a man’s sense of style should take a vacation, as a clutch of exclusive, coast-appropriate collaborations with menswear etailer Mr Porter prove

A trawl back through the family photo album will show that the British man has never been quite at home on the beach: black-and-white snaps show mid-century man enjoying an ice cream in his two-piece suit. By the Seventies, he’s in the smallest of budgie-smuggling Speedos; and come the Nineties these have been replaced by the baggiest of board shorts.

While the 21st-century man doesn’t have the same beach-ready pressure resting on his shoulders that his female counterparts have, that’s not to say a holiday should be seen as an opportunity to slack off.

Providing the right guidance to its often apprehensive male customers has been one of the pillars on which menswear-focused etailer mrporter.com has built its considerable reputation since its launch in 2011. As such, Toby Bateman, buying director of the site, has commissioned exclusive pieces from some of the site’s favourite designers in order to provide the holiday solutions its customers don’t even know they want yet. Bateman knows how important it is to offer exclusive pieces in an increasingly competitive market: “We strive to give our customers something that they cannot get anywhere else,” he states. “We’re delighted to be working closely with Hentsch Man, AMI and Wooyoungmi this season.”

The chosen designers have each interpreted a different holiday scenario, in keeping with their own background and aesthetic. But the beauty of these pieces is that they will fit into your summer wardrobe with ease once you’re back home, too. If only the same could be said about the obligatory souvenir T-shirt...

AMI

After working at at Marc Jacobs, at Givenchy with Oswald Boateng and at Dior Homme’s 30 Avenue Montaigne line, Alexandre Mattiussi wanted to create something different when he decided to go it alone. And so, when he launched his label Ami for autumn/winter 2011, Mattiussi did so with simplicity in his sights. However, it’s a discernably Parisian notion of simple – casual but still faultlessly chic and appealing to male shoppers en masse. It’s proved a successful strategy, with Mattiussi winning France’s prestigious ANDAM prize (National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts) in 2013.

Inspired by reality from the beginning, there is an obvious affinity between Ami and mrporter.com, as evidenced by the fact that the brand is the only one that was invited back to create a second exclusive collection for the site, following a similar project last summer.

For the 2014 instalment, Mattiussi wanted to tell the age-old story of an American in Paris, albeit one without the shape-shifting tendencies of the film of the same name. Hence the collection’s fusion of varsity and collegiate styles with a Frenchy flourish of a recoloured Breton stripe.

Available today, from £85

Hentsch Man

Based in London, Brazilian-born designer Alexia Hentsch is a favourite among menswear shoppers-in-the-know for her simple and elegant designs. The designer founded her eponymous brand in 2008 after a fruitless quest for the perfect white shirt for her then-boyfriend. With a background in graphic design and a stint working for Wallpaper* founder Tyler Brûlé and freelancing as a set designer, Hentsch had the necessary design skills to make her idea a reality, with a childhood friend supplying the necessary capital.

Her capsule collection of Americana-inspired pieces is based around an archival print from the Forties, which features an illustration of an exploding house, with a Hawaiian element incorporated thanks to superimposed bright pink blooms. “All you need is one great print to tell a story,” says Hentsch. As the appreciation of jazzy prints can ebb and flow, though, more traditional dressers may prefer the fuss-free sweatshirts and tailored shorts that complete the collection. A lightweight navy bomber jacket brings the best of both worlds with an exclusive print lining.

Available now, from £90

Wooyoungmi

Since its launch in 2002, Wooyoungmi has become a firm fixture on the men’s schedule of Paris fashion week. Such success is no surprise when you learn that designer Woo Young Mi launched her first brand in 1988 – the particularly successful Solid Homme – which led her to be known as one of the first menswear ready-to-wear designers in Korea. Wooyoungmi was created to produce contemporary wear that incorporated the subtle intricacies of tailoring, with art and architecture consistently forming the basis of collections.

For the collaboration with mrporter.com, Wooyoungmi builds on the desert theme of its spring/summer 14 collection with block stripes of blue, khaki and terracotta, with collages of digital cactus prints adding another dimension to the mix.

Another inspiration for the collection was South Korean installation artist Kyung Woo Han, who created the brand’s seasonal advertising campaign. “Inviting a different artist to re-imagine and interpret the Wooyoungmi collection each season has produced such inspiring work,” says Madame Woo. “Kyung Woo Han’s pieces capture the Wooyoungmi clean and minimal aesthetic and the sense of nature and the elements in our spring/summer collection perfectly.” µ

Available from 27 May, from £120

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones