Looking good, Mr Porter

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Net-a-Porter’s little brother has commissioned exclusive pieces from four of the hottest talents in menswear. Let’s hear it for the boys, says Rebecca Gonsalves

It’s undeniable that Raf Simons’ turn at Christian Dior is one of the most exciting things to happen in the world of womenswear, but the designer’s excellent work in menswear should not be  overlooked. And it won’t be if growing global power-house Mr Porter has anything to do with it. Simons is just one of four leading brands that the online retailer has commissioned to create capsule collections exclusively for the site.

Available from tomorrow, Simons’ designs make use of the punchy shades and floral motifs from his mainline grunge-inspired spring/summer collection. The starting point for the 13-piece collection for Mr Porter was “uniquely painted watercolours which were transformed onto fabric,” explains Terry Betts, senior buyer for the site who is “excited to be collaborating with one of the most creative designers currently working in the industry.” With results like these, who wouldn’t be?

The watercolour print, inspired by “grunge, nature, softness”, according to Simons, is resized and re-purposed across different garments – ranging from a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it accent on tailored shorts to full-on ditsy-printed T-shirts. “Fashion speaks about our time, about the world we live in, about the way we are,” says Simons. “Fashion and art are both creative expressions. They can connect but it’s not a necessity. For me it’s only interesting if they connect naturally, where there is a mutual attraction; a mutual interest.”

The acclaimed Belgian’s work may be seen as “challenging” by some who still see florals and bright colours as part of a feminine fashion domain, but the designer is happy to provoke such reactions: “The primary meaning for me doing fashion is to have a dialogue. And another important reason is to cause a dialogue. I think dialogue is essential to evolution; to the future. I don’t know [what the next big movement in men’s fashion is going to be]. And actually I don’t want to know. It’s more of a challenge if I don’t know the answer.”

Another designer whose  appointment at a Parisian house has racked up the column inches over the last year is Alexander Wang – the young American who filled Nicolas Ghesquière’s recently vacated seat at Balenciaga last November. For his collaboration with Mr Porter, which goes on sale next week, Wang has brought the stripped-back sportswear vibe that runs through his eponymous menswear main line and its diffusion label. “The collection includes some of my favourite styles from our ready-to-wear and T by Alexander Wang collections; these pieces are essentials in my everyday wardrobe,” says the designer of the sports-luxe separates. “It felt right to make the selection really personal and effortless.”

While the big-names of Simons and Wang may garner the most attention, Mr Porter has also worked with Japanese brand Beams Plus on an “Ivy Surf” line of six pieces inspired by The Surf Ivy artworks by Koji Toyoda. “Toyoda’s designs have a very special taste as surf designs,” says Shinsuke Nakada, director of Beams Plus. “I thought his way of life had something to do with American traditional styles. Ivy [League] styles with the ‘sloppy’ essence of surfers – I got very excited when I came up with this concept.”

Alexandre Mattiussi of French brand Ami based his 13-piece collection on what he imagined a “guy at a terrasse de café in summer” is wearing, focusing specifically on “les bords du Canal Saint Martin”, the area in which stylish Parisian crowds hang out on summer nights. Trés chic, Monsieur Porter.

mrporter.com

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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £30,000+

    £16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

    £40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy