Thursday, January 20, 2011

BEAUTY: Clothing--Umit Benan

If next Fall/ Winter seems a bit far off, let's look at what is going on for this Spring/ Summer. German-born, Turkish-bred, American-English-Italian-educated (and quite handsome) Umit Benan has only designed four collections, but he shows immense promise. He titled his SS '11 collection "Home Sweet Home" and based the look on taxi drivers in Istanbul who hang out in cafes, playing board games, and drinking rocket-fueled coffee.

INTERVIEW magazine wrote the following about Benan and his collection:
"When I look at older men, I get a picture of the past, and it's a strong one in the case of my characters," says Benan. "They've experienced life and that allows me to write and create my own story. It's hard for me to design based on a beautiful young guy. It's not that it won't happen, but at the moment these old cats are more than fine for me." For his previous fall collection called "77 Days" Benan shaved his beard and posed for photographs seven times over a 77-day period while his hair grew back. As he became progressively scruffy, Benan took in the startled reactions of his neighbors in dapper Milan: "It's hard to be accepted here with my mentality because classic clothes equal classic minds, but when you are accepted here, you're basically one of very few and unique," he says.

Benan's favorite piece in the Home Sweet Home collection are his dropped-crotch pants. "I'm not the first to do them, but I think I've found the perfect shape," he says. "I always wanted a pleated, low crotch style that was sartorial—low, but not too low. And these are it. I think they're going to be a classic."

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