Thursday March 14, 2013
All that jazz
By BERVIN CHEONG
The spring collection of a menswear label puts its designs on a musical platform.
TAKING inspiration from the jazz scene of 60s America is Ben Sherman. The British menswear label has unveiled a new collection that brings together the feel of the musical genre and style nuances from musicians of that era.
It is not surprising as the Ben Sherman name is closely linked with music. It has been adopted by a large number of music-led youth subcultures in the past – from the mods to two-tone, and ska to Brit pop – and today, it is still worn by some of the current bands within the music scene.
This year, Ben Sherman is celebrating its 50th anniversary; since it was established in 1963, the label still keeps to designs that it is known for. Not only that, it continues to pay tribute to an enduring style of heritage-inspired aesthetics within its collections.
For spring, its collection is named Jazz Life. Hence, both clothing and accessories are a throwback to that very era, influencing both music and fashion in equal magnitude.
What is highlighted in the new collection is the spirit of collision. A clash of opposing styles, such as silhouettes and inspired design details, all come together to give a contemporary sensibility for dressing up.
Prints are a big statement. The label has created refreshing patterns utilising the dyeing technique, ikat. This is seen on overshirts and T-shirts, as well as accents on different pieces such as jackets and collared tops.
Shirting similarly plays on the print theme, with art deco inspired geometrics and dobby detailing layered onto pinstripes and checks. Sculpted hems, engineered features and new collar shapes highlight the attention to detail given to the collection.
Sharply tailored, single breasted herringbone jackets sit with relaxed trousers, whilst less structured, single button, double-breasted styles are paired with shorts, presenting a less formal approach to a mature silhouette.
In addition to the jazz-inspired collection, Ben Sherman is releasing a range to suit the needs of classic gents. Whether it’s a Harrington jacket, a plain white crew neck T-shirt or a timeless button-down, there are certain items every man should own – and the label has them.
The season’s British Wardrobe Staples collection from the label looks at the fundamentals of the modern wardrobe, refining some favourite pieces whilst introducing a few new ones, perfecting fits and adding fresh colour to familiar styles.
Oxford shirts come in stripes, spots and gingham, as well as traditional checks and ςoral prints. Complementing the shirt offerings is a range of seasonal knitwear, outerwear and T-shirts, which ensures that every eventuality is catered for.
Apart from all that, what remains Ben Sherman’s pride is The Shirt Bar. While these “bars” can be found in most of the label’s boutiques, the outlets in Malaysia remain the only ones within Asia that house them.
The Shirt Bar is a counter dedicated to shirting and designed to make the task of finding the perfect shirt both easy and enjoyable. Staffed by comprehensively trained experts in shirts, the “Shirteliers”, it is here that shirting solutions are delivered with a premium retail experience.
> Ben Sherman’s Spring 2013 collections are priced from RM239. Available at the label’s outlets in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Bangsar Village II, KL.