January 15, 2011 Milan
Maier too started with monochrome: dark wool suits, the fabric textured, distressed-looking, the jacket lapels turned up and doubled by the addition of a lapel scarf; trousers tucked loosely into ankle boots; shirts untucked. The first impression was raw. One jacket zipped open across a horizontal center seam, coming apart. Then came the shots of Technicolor: eye-popping orange-red or gemstone green cords, a bright blue duffel, a trench in that red shade.
Maier accepts that the fundamentals of men's fashion don't change that much. "To evolve, you have to reinvent what you already have," he says. One way he does that is by injecting character into his clothes. His men somehow seem like archetypes, never more so than the leather-clad guys who strode down his catwalk today. A washed-leather trench even had a sinister edge. So did an evening jacket in inky velvet. That's Maier's almost cinematic power of suggestion.
Something else that Maier understands is desire. In this collection, the lightness, the lack of obvious structure, the way a cardigan might be layered casually over a jacket implied freedom from restrictions of all kinds. And that's the kind of reinvention many men would crave.