Colorful vibrancy and leopard print are my aspirin.
For whenever I’m feeling pensive or lowly, I opt for animal print, with leopards perched high in my wardrobe of sorts. Followed by a dash of bright color as a preference, likely owing to the Indian heritage. They give me a sense of optimism, which was in perfect parallel to Robert Geller‘s collection at New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM).
With a legacy of German styles, which I have observed as independent, spunky and vibrant in their own military way, he named his new collection “Geniale Dilletanten”. A translation from “Genius dilettants”, misspelled intentionally, it had a curious back story. Looking at the wild 80s of Berlin, where many watched their city being torn apart, it was enlightening to know that an art scene had emerged, which was the namesake of his collection. It was an era of DIY, experimentation and high creative spirit, right before the Berlin Wall was taken down.
With a black and white and graffiti stage, the rawness of the environment was in direct juxtaposition with the softness and color of the fabrics, with many trends that were infectiously attractive. While his inspiration was from the darkest times in Berlin’s history, the story spoke of hope and optimism, focusing on the youth who had contributed to the art scene. And this is precisely why the collection resonated so well with me and the audiences alike.
Upping the level of sophistication, Geller refined the darker hues and predominant silken, velvet blacks with bursts of energetic color. There were red or bright pink stripes across elongated trench coats and jackets, which were slimmer than the extra large or long pants, a clear trend this season.
I always enjoy designers who flip styles around, like pairing bright and punchy colored pants with black shirts. Bright green and pink were the most catchy, and definitely wearable in the nightlife sector of cosmopolitans. The small furry pouches as a testament to accessorizing and artistry would be optional, though! Pink menswear was a wildly popular trend this season.
Several outfits had polaroid imprints or appliques, which were an ode to the DIY spirits. Similarly, accessorized with record bags, the boys with their messily impeccable hair made for iconic visual representations of the artistic era of Berlin.
However, I literally jumped in joy from seeing my favorite fashion trend of all time: leopard print.
And not just once, in several formats: sweatshirts, inventively made waistcoats, corduroy blazers and a gorgeous silken shirt. Layers were clearly a mainstay in his collection, and evident from its foray into several layered pieces of his collection. I was overjoyed that it was still a mainstay for a few more seasons in menswear. The subtle tone-on-tone added to the enigma of the styles as well as paid homage to the era.
3 leopard images courtesy of Fashionising.com.
Truly a testament to how creativity can emerge from the darkest of times, I learned and took much more from the collection than its mere styles.
Who knew that a quick trip to Berlin could be as satisfying and delicious as this one?
Growl, says the leopard.