January 18, 2008
In his day job as art director for HUGO, Boss' diffusion line, Bruno Pieters has been honing his proficiency with menswear, and it showed in the tight 15-look collection he presented for fall. His somewhat obscured reference points were Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby and Giorgio Armani in the eighties, which underpinned the very constructed, sartorial greigeness of Pieters' clothes (a polished, tailored finish has emerged as a major trend in menswear this season right across the board). The most obvious illustration of this was the way the designer composed a silhouette, for instance, with a short plaid jacket laid over a longer waistcoat in the same plaid. In the past, Pieters has claimed influence from David Bowie (who hasn't?), and his wrapped pants and waistcoat, and use of tie silk as a fabric for jackets and pants had a decadent Weimar edge that recalled one of Bowie's personae. (Put it together with the Armani inspiration and you might come up with "Just an American Gigolo.") And the item that Pieters called a bomber (it was a cropped, quilted vest that looked a little like a folded parachute) gave the collection an edge of tough glamour, especially in silk Lurex. Pieters insisted that men are surrendering more and more to their inner dandy. It's a not-unpleasing prospect to imagine him being there to catch them when they fall.