John Varvatos Spring-Summer 2013: A New Collection of Youthful Elegance

Menswear designer, John Varvatos, unveiled his new Spring-Summer 2013 collection during the Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy on June 23. During his show, models walked the runway emanating a prohibition-era gangster vibe with panama hats and three-piece suits in pindot and pinstripe that were buttoned-up asymmetrically.


“I mixed a sense of dress-up with touches of my very own perfect imperfection and I added a dash of the military,” says the 56-year-old Greek American designer from Detroit. He is known worldwide for his unique creations of rock ‘n’ roll chic and unhurried classicism.

“The play of juxtapositions gives a nonchalant twist, yet everything looks proper on the surface,” Varvatos says. “This is a collection thought out for men who want to be dressed up but not stiff. It works from day to night, because this is the way people live and dress today.”

The idea of elegance, according to Varvatos, is relevant again for an audience that, so far, has not experienced the taste of it. “Youthful elegance, therefore, is my feeling for this season, meaning with youth an attitude, not a matter of age.”

Varvatos says inspiration comes from everything he sees around him.

His Spring-Summer 2013 collection features a precise silhouette that is smoothed around the edges.

Varvatos has paired double-breasted jackets with full or slightly flared pants that draw a masculine, sensual line. The collection also pays tribute to all the little details that are integral to the ritual of dressing up. For instance, waistcoats are worn under suits and coats. Shirt collars are closed with tie bars and invariably paired with a necktie. Straw hats with a wide brim complete most outfits.

He has used masculine patterns in graphic black and white to create a light crinkle. The stripes are of different width and small textural dots add a layer of visual friction.

There is also a visible alternation and amalgamation of ease and elegance with cotton tuxedo bands landing on day trousers and zippers framing the waistband of a pair of dress pants. While black jackets sport white lapels, satin ribbons replace buttons and hooks on the coats.

As for the color palette, it is classic with some unexpected accents: white, military green, grey, black, touches of red.

The fabrics Varvatos has selected – linen, cotton, cotton-metal, silk-linen, double jersey – are all precious, yet deliberately rough and intensely tactile.

The accessories include straw hats with a satin band, lace-up brogues in canvas and hand-treated leather, wingtips, varnished canvas boots. The bags (leather totes with studded details, canvas and leather satchels, and leather duffels with a linen effect) add an urban twist to the collection.
Varvatos’ signature rock n’ roll vibe is still there. It is an attitude that suits him well. He created it, after all.

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